MPCA: Just 1 coffee cup of ice melt needed for every 20 feet of driveway or sidewalk

Ice builds up on a Minneapolis driveway in January 2021.

It’s been an odd winter in Minnesota and January is no different with little snow, but a whole lot of ice. With that, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is asking residents to go easy with the salt.

At the Ace Hardware in Diamond Lake, the last weekend was busy driven by ice melt, as a lot of it has left the doors there. The top sellers are pet-safe, environmentally-friendly ice melt, but the kind that contains salt sells well too.

The MPCA is asking Minnesotans to go easy on the salt because of its effect on lakes and streams. Minnesotans put down 445,000 tons of chloride containing salt each year. It takes just one teaspoon of salt per five gallons of water to exceed quality standards.

Their guideline: No more than one coffee cup of ice melt containing salt for every 20 feet of driveway, or about 10 sidewalk squares.

Leftover ice melt on a Minneapolis driveway.

It sounds small, but when FOX 9 tested it out, it fit. The best approach is to follow up ice melt with an ice chopper and scraper.