• Shelby Roberts

Funds Available for Salt Reduction Supplies

Winter is still several months away, but before we know it, we’ll be in the season of snow and ice maintenance. With that maintenance comes use of a common de-icing chemical: chloride. Chloride plays a major role in helping snow and ice melt, but when that water rushes away to nearby streams and lakes, it takes the chloride with it causing pollution.

Purchase salt-reducing equipment like brine sprayers and salt shields

High levels of chloride are toxic to fish and the salty water disrupts entire freshwater ecosystems. Most startling of all chloride is almost impossible to filter out of a waterbody, and the process to do so is oftentimes too expensive to justify. Chloride dissolves into water where it becomes a permanent pollutant. Every winter, when salt melts downstream, chloride concentrations in our waterbodies increase.

In Scott County, Sand Creek, Raven Stream, and Credit River are all listed on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) impaired waters list for chlorides.

To help prevent this pollution from spreading, the Scott Watershed Management Organization (WMO) is offering a new grant to assist property managers limit their salt use. Grant funds are currently available to assist private winter maintenance contractors and non-profit organizations such as school districts and churches with the purchase of winter de-icing equipment.

The grant funds can reimburse the purchase of new equipment such as salting shields, liquid-based salt application systems such as tanks and sprayers, high precision applicators, and system changes from granular salt application to brine applications. All grants are awarded on a reimbursement basis and grant applications must be completed and approved before any salt-reducing equipment can be purchased.

For more information and to download an electronic copy of the grant application, visit scottswcd.org/chloride.

For application questions, email Melissa Bokman-Ermer at mbokman@co.scott.mn.us