Salt Smart: Environmentally-Minded Winter Salting

Our local rivers are getting saltier and salter.

We need Salt Smart practices to reverse the trend. This means using the most efficient snow removal techniques that prioritize safety and waste less salt. Here’s an overview of the impacts of chlorides in winter salt and how we can be Salt Smart:  

What About Safety?

Salt Smart practices are safe practices. To be clear—standard winter salting wastes salt, using much more than necessary. When we use the appropriate amount of salt, we get safe roads and walkways while wasting less salt. 

Most of the pushback to Salt Smart practices comes from public expectations that the only way to have safe roads and walkways is to blanket them with salt. Yet, it takes a lot less salt to melt snow and ice than you may think. For example, a 12 oz mug full of salt is enough for 10 sidewalk squares or one 20-foot driveway! Generally, salt should be scattered sparingly with space between granules.  

Many public agencies are upgrading to salt-efficient practices, such as liquid brine applications, that clear pavement faster, save public money, and reduce salt’s impact on the environment.  

Salt Smart Collaborative

The Conservation Foundation coordinates the Salt Smart Collaborative, a growing partnership of public agencies, watershed groups, and private contractors who are committed to the most efficient and environmentally-friendly snow removal practices.  

Learn more about how you can be Salt Smart at home by visiting  

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