Sugar beets help remove ice from pavement for a Mississauga organization

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Published January 4, 2023 at 10:51 am

sugar beets melt ice mississauga
Credit Valley Conservation photo

A Mississauga organization is now using a sugar beet-based product to remove ice from pavement.

Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) is using a sugar beet-based deicing product at their head office, 1255 Old Derry Road, CVC said in a tweet.

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The product prevents snow and ice from bonding to the pavement and lowers the salt application rate, while being less corrosive to cars, keeps staff and visitors safe, and mitigates the environmental impact of winter salt in the watershed, CVC added.

Many environmental organizations have looked for alternatives to road salt because, while necessary for road safety, salt eventually makes its way into freshwater systems. It dissolves easily in water and flows from roads and parking lots into sewers, and then to creeks, wetlands, rivers and lakes, according to the World Wildlife Fund. It is difficult to remove the salt once it is in the waterway.

Road salt increases chloride levels in lakes, rivers, and streams, which, in high concentrations, is toxic to plants, mammals, amphibians and fish and affects drinking water quality, according to the CVC.

There have been reports that salt-water species such as blue crabs, introduced into Ontario lakes and rivers, can survive because of the salt, according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Many cities have been using a mixture of sugar beets and salt in recent years. Beet juice-brine mixture is more expensive, however, less is needed.

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