Winter in Minnesota can be tough - on people, pets, vehicles and even fire hydrants! You’ve likely noticed the red plastic bags around many of Elk River’s fire hydrants, and while one purpose is to make them more noticeable for emergency crews, the red bags are actually used to protect the life of the hydrant by minimizing corrosion caused by road salt.
This winter, Elk River Municipal Utilities bagged 66 hydrants located along main roadways as they are the most heavily salted during inclement weather. In recent years, Elk River Public Works has implemented environmentally friendly snow/ice removal best practices like pre-treatment, which has led to a 30% reduction in salt use. Salt is however still necessary to maintain the high level of safety and service our residents expect during winter weather events.