Chloride is a water quality pollutant of increasing concern in Scott County.
In the winter, chloride in the form of rock salt or brine is used to deice sidewalks, roads, and driveways. When the snow melts in the spring, all the salt that was put down is carried into local waterbodies. Salt is also entering our waterbodies from the discharge of in-home water softener systems. All this salt is becoming a problem as it only takes 1 teaspoon of salt to permanently pollute five gallons of water. Once the salt dissolves in the water, it is nearly impossible to remove. Salt in lakes and streams are a problem for aquatic habitat because fresh water species cannot tolerate high levels of chloride and lake turnover is affected. Salt also makes its way into our drinking water supply.
Chloride pollution from winter salt is not just a future threat; it is already here in Scott County. Credit River, Raven Stream, and Sand Creek do not currently meet Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s chloride water quality standard.
Credit River is among the three streams in Scott County that does not meet the water quality standard for chloride.