Have you ever looked at what the de-icer you use on your driveways and sidewalks is made of? Most products include sodium, chloride, and other chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Those chemicals are melting the ice, and melting into our water wells causing contamination. According to Madison Water Utility, Well 14 on University Ave near Springs Harbor Park pumps more than 750 million gallons of water a year that is distributed city wide. In the last 16 years water tests from Well 14 have shown that the chloride count has doubled, and the sodium levels have increased significantly. Tom Heikkinen, the general manager of utility said “As a region, we are on an unsustainable path with respect to wintertime salt use, and we need to figure out how to solve this problem now, for the sake of future generations.” The city is working to use more sustainable options such as sand, and rebuilding part of Well 14. But as a community we need to do our part too by making sure the deicing products we’re using are safe. You can go to https://www.epa.gov/saferchoice/products to find a safer choice product to use on your driveway and sidewalks!