Winter road and sidewalk de-icing salt is a major – and permanent – polluter of local freshwater lakes and streams. Seventy-eight percent of salt applied in the metro area ends up in groundwater or local lakes and rivers.
If de-icer is needed, people should use as little as possible. It’s easy to use too much, but more salt does not mean more melting. Removing snow and ice early and often is the best approach. Shoveling instead of using chemicals will protect our waters.
Pledge to salt wisely. Any residents and businesses can take a pledge on the City of Minneapolis website (minneapolismn.gov) to salt wisely. A 30-minute course with self-guided readings and videos will teach anyone about the consequences of using too much salt and about how to protect beloved Minnesota waters from this permanent pollution.