With winter approaching, Rhode Island environmental officials say now is the time to find snow collection sites.
The Department of Environmental Management is asking businesses, community groups and government agencies to begin selecting and preparing sites to minimize public health and environmental impacts.
DEM says snow collected from roads, parking lots, bridges and sidewalks may contain harmful contaminants, such as road salt, sand and litter, which can compromise water supplies.
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The agency advises choosing sites that are near or on permeable surfaces in upland areas, away from water resources and wells, to allow snow melt to filter into the soil.
It recommends preparing sites by installing a silt fence or sediment barriers on the down-gradient side, maintaining a vegetative buffer between the site and adjacent waterways and clearing away debris.