Water protection: winter salt management

Salting Shift image

One of the biggest impacts to water quality is from using salt in the winter. Over time, the salt we put on the ground can end up in our drinking water and cause it to taste salty.

Share ideas and learn how you can help protect drinking water from over salting. To stop salting completely may not be an option but we know we all could use a little less.

Join the conversation online using #SaltingShift.

www.regionowaterloo.ca/saltingshift

One of the biggest impacts to water quality is from using salt in the winter. Over time, the salt we put on the ground can end up in our drinking water and cause it to taste salty.

Share ideas and learn how you can help protect drinking water from over salting. To stop salting completely may not be an option but we know we all could use a little less.

Join the conversation online using #SaltingShift.

www.regionowaterloo.ca/saltingshift

  • For the good of the planet, can we curb our addiction to road salt?

    8 months ago
    20170214 salt video shoot img 8380 leanne lobe

    CBC News (Jan. 18, 2019): We're all afraid of slipping and falling, especially in winter, so it's not uncommon to see carpets of salt on Canadian sidewalks and roads this time of year.

    But what's the effect on the environment?

    Our bodies need salt, but there is a difference between the stuff we sprinkle in food and what we put on the roads. They're both sodium chloride, but table salt includes healthy additives like iodine, which deters goiters.

    The problem with rock salt (a.k.a. road salt) is that it contains chloride ions, which can have negative effects on ecosystems because...

    CBC News (Jan. 18, 2019): We're all afraid of slipping and falling, especially in winter, so it's not uncommon to see carpets of salt on Canadian sidewalks and roads this time of year.

    But what's the effect on the environment?

    Our bodies need salt, but there is a difference between the stuff we sprinkle in food and what we put on the roads. They're both sodium chloride, but table salt includes healthy additives like iodine, which deters goiters.

    The problem with rock salt (a.k.a. road salt) is that it contains chloride ions, which can have negative effects on ecosystems because once these ions seep into our environment, there's no way to dilute them and they continue to build up.

  • Province of Ontario Environment Plan references impacts of salt

    10 months ago
    Environmentplan

    A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan (2018): page 13 of the Plan references impacts of salt.

    "Build on the ministry’s monitoring and drinking water source protection activities to ensure that environmental impacts from road salt use are minimized. Work with municipalities, conservation authorities, the private sector and other partners to promote best management practices, certification and road salt alternatives."

    A Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan (2018): page 13 of the Plan references impacts of salt.

    "Build on the ministry’s monitoring and drinking water source protection activities to ensure that environmental impacts from road salt use are minimized. Work with municipalities, conservation authorities, the private sector and other partners to promote best management practices, certification and road salt alternatives."

  • What's going on here? Cambridge's Historic City Hall

    10 months ago
    Coc closedarea

    Waterloo Region Record (Nov. 22, 2018): A large section of sidewalk and the courtyard around Cambridge’s Historic City Hall, as well as the front steps, has been cordoned off, and warning signs tell people to stay out of the area.

    City manager of communications Shawn Falcao explains what’s going on, saying the city is participating in the Region of Waterloo’s salting shift program and is attempting to use less salt this winter. Along with the city, various businesses are participating, as are other cities in the region.

    Waterloo Region Record (Nov. 22, 2018): A large section of sidewalk and the courtyard around Cambridge’s Historic City Hall, as well as the front steps, has been cordoned off, and warning signs tell people to stay out of the area.

    City manager of communications Shawn Falcao explains what’s going on, saying the city is participating in the Region of Waterloo’s salting shift program and is attempting to use less salt this winter. Along with the city, various businesses are participating, as are other cities in the region.

  • Chloride levels are increasing in Waterloo Region drinking water

    10 months ago
    Chloridelevels

    Waterloo Region Record (Nov. 22, 2018): For years doctors have been warning patients to reduce their salt intake. Now environmentalists are expressing similar concerns regarding the amount of salt being used on sidewalks, roads, parking lots and driveways.

    The chloride found in road salt is seeping into both surface water — like creeks, streams, rivers and melted ice — as well ground water aquifers, from which we draw our drinking water.

    Waterloo Region Record (Nov. 22, 2018): For years doctors have been warning patients to reduce their salt intake. Now environmentalists are expressing similar concerns regarding the amount of salt being used on sidewalks, roads, parking lots and driveways.

    The chloride found in road salt is seeping into both surface water — like creeks, streams, rivers and melted ice — as well ground water aquifers, from which we draw our drinking water.

  • Why Ontario needs a new approach to snow removal

    10 months ago
    News

    570 News The Mike Farwell Show (Nov. 21, 2018): start time (21:30) - Mike Farwell interviews Region staff about winter maintenance and the impacts to our drinking water sources.

    570 News The Mike Farwell Show (Nov. 21, 2018): start time (21:30) - Mike Farwell interviews Region staff about winter maintenance and the impacts to our drinking water sources.

  • Environmental Protection Report lists salt as drinking water threat (Clean Water section - page 86)

    10 months ago
    2018 epr 4 covers en 792x1024

    Environmental Protection Report (Nov. 13, 2018): Environmental Commissioner of Ontario released her 2018 Environmental Protection Report, Back to Basics, to the Ontario Legislature. Page 86 of the Clean Water section of the report lists salt as a threat.

    Environmental Protection Report (Nov. 13, 2018): Environmental Commissioner of Ontario released her 2018 Environmental Protection Report, Back to Basics, to the Ontario Legislature. Page 86 of the Clean Water section of the report lists salt as a threat.

  • Region of Waterloo Environews fall 2018

    9 months ago
    Environews logo

    Environews (Fall 2018): page 3 of the newsletter includes articles on salt.

    • is your business winter-ready?
    • close areas instead of salting
    • book a talk on salt
    • use less salt to protect drinking water
    • what to use instead of salt

    Environews (Fall 2018): page 3 of the newsletter includes articles on salt.

    • is your business winter-ready?
    • close areas instead of salting
    • book a talk on salt
    • use less salt to protect drinking water
    • what to use instead of salt
  • Got to get smarter about how we apply salt

    10 months ago
    News

    Kitchener Post (Feb. 16, 2018): Road salt diet is giving the environment indigestion says Mike Farwell.

    Kitchener Post (Feb. 16, 2018): Road salt diet is giving the environment indigestion says Mike Farwell.

  • How Canada's addiction to road salt is ruining everything

    10 months ago
    News

    National Post (Jan. 22, 2018): Bringing down bridges, melting cars, poisoning rivers; it's hard to think of something salt isn't ruining.

    National Post (Jan. 22, 2018): Bringing down bridges, melting cars, poisoning rivers; it's hard to think of something salt isn't ruining.

  • Oversalted: Why Ontario needs a new approach to snow removal

    10 months ago
    News

    TVO (Jan. 17, 2018): Road salt is a necessary evil, but Ontario uses far too much of it — and that could spell trouble for the environment.

    TVO (Jan. 17, 2018): Road salt is a necessary evil, but Ontario uses far too much of it — and that could spell trouble for the environment.