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Published February 12, 2013, 06:52 PM

Sand and salt runoff ending up in local waterways

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - Detroit Lakes is battling snow packed and slick roads with sand and salt, but come spring time, what's protecting us now could be harming our lakes and rivers.

Detroit Lakes, MN (WDAY TV) - Detroit Lakes is battling snow packed and slick roads with sand and salt, but come spring time, what's protecting us now could be harming our lakes and rivers.

Right now, these snow packed river banks are keeping what's up there, all the salt, sand and debris, from making its way into this river. Once it melts, that will all change.

This blizzard dumped a lot of snow, leaving it to the street department to clean up.

Brad Green: "And with this type of snow, it took us two days to clean up."

The next step? To keep you safe.

Brad Green: "We do a blend. The colder it is, we use the sand to get a little more grit on the road. If it gets below ten degrees the salt doesn't work as well."

Just this year alone, Detroit Lakes has used tons of sand and salt. With the latest storm, they'll have to use even more.

Brad Green: "Compared to other years, we've refilled the shed one extra time"

But all that sand ends up in rivers and streams.

Emily Siira – Minnesota DNR Hydrologist: "Road salt, as you can imagine is not a natural to our lakes and rivers and our water systems and so, that could potentially have a negative impact."

The snow, the salt and debris find their way in the water.

Emily Siira: "That could potentially carry a lot more nutrients and pollutants that will impact our water quality."

Brad Green says his department does their part to try and decrease that impact.

Brad Green: "We filter a lot of our storm water before it reaches the lakes."

Meaning Green must balance your safety now with nature's come spring time.

After all this snow is gone, public works says they usually sweep away over 5,000 yards of salt and debris trying to keep the area lakes and rivers clean.

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