According to Mark Kiernan, head of the Harrington Park DPW, the piles of downed trees and branches from the October storm have been chipped and the roadways are now clear. Mark estimates that ~ 1/3 of households put Christmas trees at the curb, so ~ 500-600 Christmas trees have also been chipped in the last 2-3 weeks! The DPW also finished cleaning up the damaged trees from HP Parks this week.
Did you notice the striped roadways around town (and surrounding towns and interstates) today? Northern NJ is anticipating its first winter storm and road safety is a top priority. This winter, the DPW is using a brine solution on the roadways in advance of an anticipated storm, to prevent the formation or development of bonded snow and ice on the road surfaces. This anti-icing is proactive and allows for easier plowing and snow removal. De-icing with rock salt will also be done as needed, depending on snowfall rate and total accumulation, as well as on the use and grade (elevation) of the road. The salt–brine used for the anti-icing is a “eutectic solution with 23% salt, by weight”. This solution is made in a large tank in Closter, transferred to a truck based tank, and then piped through 9 nozzles onto the roads.
Interested in learning more?
Road salts are used mitigate ice and snow conditions on roads and to provide safer road conditions. However, the heavy use of road salts can lead to damage to vegetation, as is most obvious with roadside vegetation damaged by salt splash. They have also been associated with damage to organisms in soil, to birds and to other wildlife. Almost all chloride ions from road salts eventually find their way into waterways, whether by direct runoff into surface water or by moving through the soil and groundwater. In surface water, road salts can harm freshwater plants, fish and other organisms that are not adapted to living in saline waters.
(From a FAQ- Environment Canada- Road Salt)
The following information is from the New Jersey Water Supply Authority Website (http://www.raritanbasin.org/):
In New Jersey, the demand for ice-free roadways and sidewalks has led to an increase in the use of deicing salts. Storm runoff containing road salts used in deicing operations has become a source of contamination of surface and subsurface water bodies and water ways which provide clean water for human consumption. The impact of salt runoff on the environment, and high corrosion rates in highway structures and vehicles have been identified as major issues of concern.
The two most commonly applied deicing salts are sodium chloride and calcium chloride. Although calcium chloride is more effective at melting ice, sodium chloride (rock salt) is used most widely because it is relatively inexpensive and is easier to handle. To improve traction, de-icing salts are usually mixed with abrasives. These abrasives, which include sand, cinders, gravel, and sawdust, can accumulate along roadways and cause drainage problems.
The adverse environmental implications arising from improper use of salt and the proposed regulatory requirements have made many state departments of transportation (DOTs) to take a proactive approach towards controlling storm water runoff containing salt.
Read about Sensible Salting and minimizing the impact on the environment on the Salt Institute/Safe Winter Roads site: