The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Wisconsin Salt Wise invite the public to learn more about the impacts of road salt on drinking water and freshwater ecosystems during Wisconsin Salt Awareness Week the week of January 23. Each day at 12:30 – 1 p.m. Central Time, DNR will feature a speaker on YouTube on various topics ranging from freshwater salinization and tracking salt from winter roads to summer streams to salty drinking water and human health, tackling salty problems and stormwater, and becoming a salt-wise champion in your community. Once salt gets into water, it is difficult and costly to remove it.
The campaign is driven by results from DNR measurement of chloride levels in Wisconsin rivers over time, which shows a steep increase in chloride loads in 26 of the state’s largest river systems. Chloride loads may increase due to road salting, water softeners, and fertilizers.
Noting that “it only takes one teaspoon of salt to pollute five gallons of water to a level that is toxic for freshwater ecosystems,” DNR details ways to correctly scatter salt on driveways and sidewalks.
See Wisconsin DNR’s Salt and Stormwater website here.