The leading source of chloride pollution is from deicing chemicals (salts) used for winter maintenance. Chloride damages property and the environment, harms aquatic species, and impacts drinking water quality. About 50 waterbodies in Minnesota already have dangerous chloride levels, and another 75 waterbodies are close to the danger zone. Learn more about chloride pollution from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
Once chloride is in a waterbody, there is no feasible way to remove it. It takes only one teaspoon of salt to permanently pollute five gallons of water. Further, the alternatives to chloride have other tradeoffs in cost, environmental impacts, and service. Therefore, the leading strategy for managing chloride pollution is to be smart about its use; applying it only when, where, and in the amount needed. This also means that every effort, big or small, helps reduce chloride pollution!
The Low Salt, No Salt Minnesota toolbox is intended for Local Government Units (LGUs) such as cities and watershed management organizations to deliver the program locally, increasing awareness and providing support for private landowners to help them reduce chloride pollution from their properties. If you or your association is interested in learning more about the program, please contact BCWMC Administrator, Laura Jester, at firstname.lastname@example.org.