For over 50 years, Minnesota's de-icing salt has made roads, sidewalks, parking lots and other paved surfaces less slippery. Unfortunately, de-icing salt does not break down in the environment, does not flush away easily, and is nearly impossible to remove. Most de-icing salt stays in waterways near its application.
As de-icing practices increase with new development, Twin Cities' waterways are increasingly at risk for chloride impairment. High levels of chloride harm native vegetation and wildlife, and can impair ecological services such as lake turn over in Spring and Autumn. More on lake turn over here.
Non-profit groups, such as Stop Over Salting (SOS), send Minnesota Water Stewards to community meetings and events to raise awareness of the challenge, and safe, effective alternatives. To request an educator to visit your meeting or to volunteer, contact Stop Over Salting via email: email@example.com.
Water Softeners also add salt to our water All that salt goes into our lakes and streams because wastewater treatment plants cannot remove salt from water.
First, determine if you really need a water softener. Many cities in Hennepin County pre-soften water. For a list, click here.
Make sure you're using the right amount of salt to soften your water.