In Michigan, winter means snow and layers of slippery ice to remove from sidewalks and driveways. The chemicals in the de-icers dissolve and flow directly to a lake or stream. Tips to minimize this impact:
Remove snow and ice first. When using de-icer, a little goes a long way! Use only enough deicer to break the ice/pavement bond, then remove the remaining slush by shoveling.
Adding more salt without removing what has melted can result in over-application, meaning more salt and chemicals end up in the river.
You can also reduce salt use by limiting access to your home to one entrance. For every doorway that is not used, there will be less salt running into the catch basin in your street. The bottom line to dealing with ice and snow this winter in a way that protects our waterways is to shovel early and often, reduce the amount of deicer you use and be very conscientious in how you apply deicing products.