I saw that before each snowstorm this winter they sprayed something on the roads to prevent freezing. What is it and how does it affect our water after it mixes with snow and runs off?

Answered by Flint Hall Hydrologist for DEQ Dept. of Environmental Quality Deicers are applied to road surfaces, sidewalks, and parking lots for winter-time safety. Deicers work by reducing the freezing-point of water thereby melting ice, or, when sprayed on the road as a liquid (brine) before a snow storm, preventing ice from forming at all.…

Why is snow soft and ice hard?

Answered by Alex DeSmet,┬áMeteorologist, National Weather Service, Pocatello This is a good question, because snow and ice are both water in a frozen form. So, why do they feel so much different to us? Well, the answer is actually fairly simple, and it has to do with air. As snowflakes fall to the ground and…

If molecules in colder things get denser, why does ice float?

Answered by Flint Hall, Hydrogeologist, Idaho Department of Environmental Quality Water is the most important chemical to life on earth and perhaps anywhere else in the universe. A chemical is a substance with a specific composition (or ingredients). The most basic chemicals are atoms of elements. These elements can combine to form molecules with specific…