Road Salt: Essential For Winter Roads, Toxic For Lakes

By Steve Murphy, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Road salt is a major tool for removing snow from roads, but it’s also a threat to lakes.

“It’s a toxicity issue. So chloride above a certain concentration will actually impede reproduction of the fish and if it gets high enough, can actually cause death of the fish”, said Joe Bischoff of the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.

WCCO’s Steve Murphy Interviews Joe Bischoff

However, Bischoff acknowledges that salt is an essential ingredient for snow removal. So what’s the answer?

“We’ve got to learn how to use less salt – or use alternative methods and practices – and still maintain that public safety aspect that’s really important”.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is conducting a four-year study of the issue.

  • lisa

    There are plenty of safe alternatives to the standard mix used by the state. We don’t need another study – just read the packaging labels already on the products!!!!

    Some products might cost a little more up front, but the amount of tax-payer money saved in the long run from expensive damage control and clean up efforts to re-stabilize polluted environments would be more than worth it.

  • Mike Gray

    It’s amazing how we ever made it through winter before road salt. If roads are black (they are), the winter sun will melt the snow. This combined with sensible driving will allow everyone to get where they’re going safely. Good for fish, lakes, and grass, not to mention budgets.

  • Skeezer

    I like salt on my french fries

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