We rely on salt to keep our roads safe in the winter and to soften water in our homes year-round but using more salt than is needed comes with a heavy price. In Wisconsin and much of the United States, chloride from salt is infiltrating into our lakes, streams and groundwater. These increased chloride levels have significant environmental and economic impacts on our daily lives.
Dane County is part of the Wisconsin Salt Wise Partnership, a coalition of organizations working together to reduce salt pollution in our lakes, streams and drinking water. Dane County coordinated the development of local application rate guidelines to help professionals and area residents to safely and effectively confront winter storms while having the least impact to our environment.
Visit Wisconsin Salt Wise to learn more about salt and steps you can take in your community to keep sidewalks and driveways safe this winter while protecting our waters. The website also has information about optimizing or upgrading your water softener to reduce your household salt use.
Winter maintenance professionals who clear snow and ice from parking lots, sidewalks, and trails can use locally-tailored application rate guidelines for using the least amount of salt to get the job done. They can also voluntarily become certified to demonstrate to their clients that they work for their safety and for the protection of our lakes, streams and drinking water.