Salt Resources

Read and pass along WI Salt Wise brochures - Municipal Handout

Wisconsin Tastes a Little Too Salty

As leaders of Wisconsin, you want to keep your citizens safe. When winters hits, safe driving conditions become a priority. Fortunately, we have effective ways to maintain drivable conditions, including using road salt. But many people believe that using more salt is more effective — a false and costly practice that leads to irreversible environmental damage.

Use Salt Responsibly

It’s time to take a stance against oversalting and time to make some changes in our practices. There are a few things you, as a Wisconsin leader, can do:

  • Educate yourself on best winter maintenance practices.
  • Learn more about alternatives to road salt.
  • When salt is required, support the use of the right amount and the application of anti-icing  products before a winter storm.
  • Attend seminars and presentations to educate yourself. It’s easier to discuss winter maintenance  practices with other leaders and citizens if you’re armed with the correct information.
  • Support liability protection clauses for certified operators.
  • Require training for municipal members and private applicators.
  • Require proper calibration for all salting applicators.
  • Educate the public. Remind citizens who are concerned about road safety that we all love Wisconsin and choose to live here, so we should embrace the winter.
  • Learn more about how other states with similar winter weather have tackled the salt problem.

Extra Salt?
Extra Destruction

We need to make a salting change, and it starts with our leaders. When homeowners, salt applicators and emergency services overuse road salt, it’s an expensive mistake. 1 ton = $800 + $3,300 of damages to buildings, bridges and other infrastructure. It also harms our water supply and affects aquatic life. The road salt used can never be recovered once it’s applied; seventy percent of the road salt applied remains in the watersheds for months and threatens our lakes, fisheries and the tourism Wisconsin waters bring. Madison’s Lake Wingra’s chloride concentration has increased from 5 mg/L before the use of road salt to 115 mg/L today. The story reads very similarly for our other lakes.

Oversalting costs taxpayers and jeopardizes the health of our water resources, the foundation of our economy, environment and quality of life. Many of our citizens are taking notice and want action and leadership.