Skip to main content

10/27/2017 10:00 AM

Salt replaced by biodegradable de-icing agents to protect groundwater

The City of Lahti will replace salt in de-icing with biodegradable EcoMelter products in the entire city centre contracting area due to the burden that salt places on groundwater. Environmentally-friendly winter maintenance has never before been tested in such a large area in Finland.
Winter in Lahti

​De-icing and anti-icing is a must on the steep streets of Lahti, but so far, no competitive option has been available for salting of driveways.

Ismo Malin, Manager of Water Conservation in Lahti, considers the reduction in salting as a significant measure in protecting the groundwater resources. The effects will be visible in a few years' time as lower chloride content in groundwater.

The permitted chloride content is exceeded in Lahti

Salinisation is one of the key variables used in monitoring the chemical status of groundwater throughout the EU. The environmental quality standard for chlorine content is 25 mg / l. In Lahti, this limit is exceeded in many areas. In groundwater in the city centre area and in Nastola by highway 12, the figures may be up to four times over the limit.

In the entire Lahti region, the figures remain below 250 mg / l, the quality recommendation for domestic water. To prevent the corrosion of water supply pipes, the chloride content should remain below 25 mg / l.

Chloride levels are elevated in city area surface waters, too, which may have an effect on the oxygen economy of the hypolimnion and the bottom sediment and thus contribute to the eutrophication of lakes.

Salt replaced by biodegradable EcoMelter

This winter, the biodegradable EcoMelter product will be used in winter maintenance in central Lahti. The EcoMelter product was used for the first time in the city centre contracting area on 23 October 2017. The products are used in street maintenance not only for the purpose of de-icing and anti-icing, but also for dust control in winter and summer.

The experience gained from using the product will be evaluated next spring and further use will be decided on the basis of experience. The estimated cost of the product totals approximately EUR 300,000 per year.

Further information:

Ismo Malin, Manager of Water Conservation, tel. +358 (0)50 525 9579
Mika Lastikka, Street Manager, tel. +358 (0)50 63891