Melting snow and ice can cause problems as stormwater runoff. When the ground is frozen at the surface during winter, it is difficult for soil to absorb melting snow. This presents a unique flooding challenge. In addition, the presence of environmentally harmful chemicals in de-icing salt makes winter runoff a significant risk to the health of our rivers and streams.
Try these tips to help reduce flooding and pollution:
- Clear out snow surrounding your downspouts. This will allow melting snow from your roof to flow instead of collecting at your foundation, which can help prevent basement flooding.
- Do not pile snow on top of storm drains. Clear off any blocked storm drains near your property.
- Pile snow where it is most likely to be absorbed by the ground when it melts. For example, choose areas that are relatively flat or do not typically pond during rainstorms.
- Do not over-apply de-icing salt or sand. Shovel or plow before salting.
- Use less-toxic ice removal methods. For example, mix beet juice with de-icing salt to reduce salt use and lower the freezing point.
Learn more at pgh2o.com/help-manage-stormwater.