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Crow Wing SWCD offers training to reduce salt use on roads

Training topics include environmental impacts, best management practices for reducing salt use safely, cost-saving opportunities, liability and customer education.

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Mike Lane loads salt onto trucks at Oakdale Public Works before drivers went out during a light snow in the city Wednesday, Nov. 13. Seven trucks used salt and brine to clear the streets. Salt from winter highway maintenance is by far the biggest source of salt pollution, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Jean Pieri / St. Paul Pioneer Press

The Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District is hosting certification trainings to help maintenance operators and property managers reduce salt usage while still maintaining safe paved surfaces.

When snow and ice start to accumulate on area roads, parking lots and sidewalks, salt is often applied, which contains chloride, a water pollutant. When snow and ice melt, most of the salt goes with it, washing into lakes, streams and rivers, according to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

“It only takes 1 teaspoon of road salt to permanently pollute 5 gallons of water,” Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District District Manager Melissa Barrick stated in a news release.

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s smart salting for roads online certification training for operators who maintain winter streets, roads and highways.will take place 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Aug. 27.

The other virtual training session is for public or private property managers and contractors who maintain sidewalks, driveways and small parking lots. It will take place 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 28.

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Training topics include environmental impacts, best management practices for reducing salt use safely, cost-saving opportunities, liability and customer education.

“We are trying to spread the word that ‘less is more’ when it comes to applying road salt because at high concentrations, chloride can harm the fish and plant life in our waters,” Barrick stated.

For more information about reducing salt usage, visit https://bit.ly/2Wv2MkK or for more information about the certification trainings visit https://bit.ly/398NeIU .

Related Topics: SCIENCE AND NATURECROW WING SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICTWATER QUALITY
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