Tips & Best Practices for
Snow Removal Professionals

The over-use of salt has become a major environmental issue in recent years, damaging our local streams , rivers and our water supply. Today, more and more snow removal professionals are responding to these environmental problems by using better technology and following best practices in order to balance safety and responsible salt use.

Contractors and road salt applicators play an important role in ensuring salt or alternative products are applied in a responsible way in Montgomery County. Businesses and commercial properties make up a large portion of pavement area that includes parking lots, sidewalks and driveways. Applying salt to these surfaces improperly can lead to an excess of salt in our local rivers and streams. Montgomery County encourages all businesses and homeowner associations to work with winter maintenance professionals to use the least amount of de-icing material necessary in order to keep parking lots, roads, sidewalks and driveways safe.

Road Salt Applicators

Private salt applicators can learn to balance public safety with responsible salt use by learning proper application rates and techniques.


  • Stay educated on best practices, new technologies and methods for fighting snow and ice while keeping parking lots, roads, sidewalks and driveways safe. Make sure your entire crew is trained too!
  • Include trainings attended and use of ecofriendly methods on contracts and literature about your services. This will help your customers know you are committed to both the environment and public safety.
  • Monitor weather forecasts and road pavement conditions in order to apply the most effective product for the condition at the most effective application rate. An application calculator can be helpful.
  • Ensure your equipment is calibrated and in excellent working condition.
  • Consider using rubber tipped plow blades
  • Use green alternatives instead of salt when applicable.
  • Encourage the businesses and properties you service to develop winter weather or salt management plans.
  • If applicable, store salt/sand piles in a structure with a roof and walls substantial enough to prevent precipitation from contacting salt, or wind from blowing salt away, eventually into our local waters.
  • Make sure your load is covered and do not overload your equipment to prevent spillage.
  • Track and document your product use to improve operations and reduce cost.
  • Ensure you clean up any excess or accidental salt spillage
  • Survey your customers on their level of expectation of snow removal and treatment of pavement. Only apply what is necessary and encourage a sensible approach to addressing winter weather.

Example Application Calculator

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