Smart Salting for environmental & economic savings

Parking lot snow being removed (MPCA photo)

It takes 1 teaspoon of salt to permanently pollute 5 gallons of water. Each winter, tons of salt is spread on roads, parking lots, and sidewalks. Most of it ends up in lakes, streams, wetlands, and groundwater. Anoka County’s lakes and rivers are getting saltier, which harms the fish, bugs, and other organisms living in them.

Smart Salting teaches public and private maintenance crews how to effectively keep roads, parking lots, and sidewalks safe while protecting our lakes and rivers. The training can also save money: Many previous participants have reduced their salt use by 30 – 70%. Private snow removal businesses can also let their clients know they’re protecting the environment with the voluntary Smart Salting certification.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency offers a Level 1 (individual) and Level 2 (organizational) Smart Salting certification for both private and public sector participants. Level 1 includes a roads class and a parking lots/sidewalks class. The Level 2 certification features an assessment tool which aids in budget planning and communicating with public officials or others who provide funding for maintenance work.

Level 1 Training topics:

  • How you can make changes to protect our water
  • The effect of salt on our lakes, rivers and groundwater
  • How de-icers, abrasives, pre-wetting, and anti-icing work
  • Selection of the best product for the conditions
  • Equipment calibration
  • Application rates
  • New maintenance methods
  • Cost savings tips

Level 2 Training topics:

  • Overview of the Impact salt has on our water resources
  • Steps to become Level 2 certified for your organization
  • Introduction to the Smart Salting Assessment tool (SSAt)
  • Explore SSAt with guided instruction on a computer provided in the lab
  • How to utilize the SSAt reports

Visit the MPCA’s Smart Salting training webpage for more information and upcoming trainings.

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