Salt Pollution and our Lakes
Minnesota has a growing salty water problem that threatens its freshwater fish and other aquatic life. Chloride from both de-icing salt and water softener salt gets into lakes and streams, and groundwater that supplies drinking water. It takes only one teaspoon of salt to permanently pollute five gallons of water. Once in the water, there is no easy way to remove the chloride. (MPCA, Chlorides 101).
De-icing salt we spread on icy roads, parking lots, driveways and sidewalks as well as water softener salt, can make its way to our waterbodies via storm drains and road ditches.
Chloride salts impact our drinking water, fish & aquatic bugs, plants, soil, infrastructure, wildlife and can harm our pets. Never dispose of water softener salts or de-icing salts by dumping them in your yard. If you have excess salts here are some ideas on what to do with them:
1. Save the salt until winter. Sprinkle it on icy driveways. The salt will provide traction and help melt the ice. Follow the winter salt use temperature guide for best results and less salt use.
2. You may place small amounts of salt into a trash bag. Set it out with the rest of the garbage.
3. For large amounts of salt, contact your trash hauler.
For more information on chloride impacts to waterbodies go to: https://www.scottswcd.org/chloride; additional resource links can be found at the bottom of the page.
For More Information on Salt