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Experts hope people keep salt use minimal following major snowfall

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Many Madisonians woke up to a driveway full of snow, picked up a shovel and got to work Saturday.

Longtime Madison resident Patrick Runte is no stranger to shoveling his driveway.

"Bring it on, let it snow. Let's have some fun," he said.

A couple blocks down from him, Karen Evans-Romaine shoveled as well. She says when it's easier to shovel and it's beautiful outside, she considers it a winter activity. She sticks to shoveling and only uses salt when needed.

"We try to use as little salt as possible because we know it's bad for the environment," she said. "We put a little bit of what the city puts us on the drive way only if it's super, super slippery."

Hilary Dugan, assistant professor of limnology at UW-Madison says pulling out the salt bags after snowfalls does no good for the environment. She says salt pollutes the local water, like Madison's lakes.

"All of the salt that we're putting on the ground ends up in our freshwater. So that's underground water that we drink. It ends up in our streams and lakes," Dugan said.

As snow melts, salt runs off into the water. As temperatures remain warmer this week, Dugan expects to see higher concentrations of salt in the lakes.

Evans-Romaine has salt on the back of her mind as she continues shoveling.

"Today was a good day," she said. "It's not slippery. It's just beautiful light winter snow."

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Rupa Palla

Reporter WKOW

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