Local organizations ask everyone to go easy on the rock salt

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RAW: Salt trucks prepare to hit Chicago roads

As snow begins to fall in Chicago, a giant salt pile at Grand and Rockwell gets distributed to trucks ready to take to the streets.

CHICAGO — Some local organizations are asking area residents to cut back on the salt during the deep freeze.

Ice remains on many Chicagoland roadways and sidewalks, but when it drops below 15 degrees, regular rock salt won’t work. So the Salt Smart collaborative is asking people to use less.

The Chicago region uses more than 270,000 tons of salt on roads, parking lots and sidewalks, according to the Northwest Water Planning Alliance.

The excess salt can run off and pollute drinking water and damage infrastructure. Salt is corrosive and can weaken bridges, roads and water pipes.

One way they recommend residents cut back is not to over-salt. They say a mug full of salt is enough to treat a 20-foot driveway.

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