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Salt Mixture Can Damage Roads, Vehicles

The salt mixture that road crews use in winter can impact the environment and vehicles after snow melts.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) It's a common sight during winter - trucks treating the roads with salt mixtures.

MO-DOT in Northwest Missouri has already used 10,000 tons of salt this winter.

Before a winter storm hits, MO-DOT uses a mixture of salt, sand, limestone and beet juice, a natural substance that is easier on the environment.

Rain water usually washes the mixture away into the soil once winter ends.

Marty Liles with MO-DOT said they test water in the area to make sure it doesn't contaminate local rivers.

"When you talk about the salt that you put out you're talking about over miles and miles," Liles said.

The salt is thinly distributed across the roads and Liles said it shouldn't effect the environment too much. It can create pot-holes though.

Ag Expert Bob Kelley said Northwest Missouri has deep soil, which helps prevent the salt from affecting farmers.

But while the mixture may have a minimal effect on the environment, the salt residue can do damage to vehicles.

"It's fairly corrosive, especially with as much aluminum that's on new cars," Collision Repair Specialist owner Dale Eaton said.

Once rust starts on the under carriage of a car, there is no way to stop it and replacing it can be expensive.

Eaton recommends using WD-40 after washing your vehicle if you are concerned about rust developing.
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