Salt Watch - Gaithersburg, MD

Salt Watch – Gaithersburg, MD

What is chloride pollution?


Road salt (sodium chloride) keeps us safe on roads and sidewalks, but too much can pose a threat to fish and wildlife as well as human health. Fish and bugs that live in freshwater streams can't survive in extra salty water. Many of us also depend on local streams for drinking water. Water treatment plants are not equipped to filter out the extra salt, so it can end up in your tap water and even corrode your pipes, potentially causing serious health concerns.



Join the Salt Watch


  1. Request your free kit by filling out the pledge to the right.

  2. Collect 4 chloride readings at your chosen stream site.

  3. Upload a photo of your test strip to our database.

  4. Share your findings with your community!

See the results from your community so far.

Take the Salt Watch Pledge

As a Salt Watcher, I pledge to...

  • Reduce my road salt use at home and seek out safe alternatives when I can

  • Share my knowledge about road salt and water pollution with family, friends and neighbors

  • Use my FREE Salt Watch kit to test salt levels in my local waterways and add my findings to a national database

Please send my FREE Salt Watch kit to...

Please also keep me updated on how I can protect America's streams.

Before signing the Salt Watch pledge, please answer these two quick questions and verify that you are a human.
How harmful do you think road salt is for the environment?

How harmful do you think road salt is to the quality of our drinking water?


For multiple kits or to nominate your organization as a Salt Watch partner, email saltwatch@iwla.org.

Community and Events

Plow design - credit City of Gaithersburg and G-PARC Senior panting plow - credit City of Gaithersburg and G-PARC Senior painting plow 2 - credit City of Gaithersburg and G-PARC Boy painting plow - credit City of Gaithersburg and G-PARC Group of youth - credit City of Gaithersburg and G-PARC Kids painting plow - credit City of Gaithersburg and G-PARC Snow Road-eo 10-14-21-11 Snow Road-eo 10-14-21-6 Snow Road-eo 10-14-21-27

Paint the Plow

The Gaithersburg Parks, Arts, and Recreation Corporation (G-PARC) led a city-wide "Paint the Plow" project where seniors, youth centers, and community centers worked together to paint smart-salt slogans on Gaithersburg snowplows! Scroll through to see the great results.

Hand Out Flyers

Use these flyers to educate your neighbors about their home salt use.

Use these flyers to inform local businesses about the impact salt use in parking lots can have on water quality.

Download this pamphlet for more Gaithersburg-specific information.

Resources for Homeowner's Associations

To get the word out in your community in the City of Gaithersbug, download our toolkit.

Events

The Izaak Walton League of America (with support from the City of Gaithersburg and the Chesapeake Bay Trust), is offering a virtual Smart Salting Training on August 16, 2022, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

This training will help management-level property managers, applicators, business owners, and local government decision-makers learn how to save money and protect water resources by using less salt, while still maintaining safe paved surfaces. The tons of salt used every year to manage snow and ice damages infrastructure and vegetation and pollutes our lakes, streams and groundwater.

Smart Salting training helps improve salt applicator effectiveness and reduce chloride pollution while keeping roads, parking lots and sidewalks safe. Participating organizations have been able to reduce their salt use by 30 to 70 percent. And the training has been shown to prevent chloride contamination in bodies of water.

This training has been adapted for Gaithersburg, Maryland, from the renowned Smart Salt training in Minnesota, implemented by Fortin Consulting Inc. (now Bolton & Menk, Inc.). Attendees will learn invaluable information on how to properly salt sidewalks and parking lots to maintain safety, save money, and reduce salt use. After the training, attendees will earn a "Gaithersburg Smart Salt Business" plaque to display.

While this training is FREE(!), spaces are limited, so register soon! Should you have any questions, please contact Izaak Walton League staff at saltwatch@iwla.org.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Register now

Do you have an event that you'd like Salt Watch Staff to present at and hand out Salt Watch kits and resources? If so, contact us at saltwatch@iwla.org.

Gaithersburg Specifics

City of Gaithersburg

How the City of Gaithersburg Snow Removal Team Reduces Salt

  • Preventing ice pack with brine layer pretreatments before the storm

  • Calibrating tailgate spreader's electronic speed controls in all 10-ton and one-ton dump trucks

  • Conducting staff training days, including a friendly Snow Road-eo competition

  • Storing all loaded trucks under cover

  • Washing and cleaning all snow equipment indoors to prevent site runoff

Reporting Illicit Discharge

To report illegal spills, dumping, connections, or local emergencies related to the storm drain system or the sanitary sewer system, please contact one of the numbers listed below.

Where to report salt spills:

  • City of Gaithersburg: snow@gaithersburgmd.gov or leave a message at 301-258-6370

  • County Streets: Call 311

  • State Roads: Call 1-800-543-2515

Learn more about snow removal in Gaithersburg at
www.gburg.md/snow

Maps

Potential Salt Watch Locations in Gaithersburg

Are you excited to get started with Salt Watch, but you're not sure where to access a lake or stream? This map shows sites that are great Salt Watch locations. (But remember, you can do Salt Watch anywhere you can safely access a pond, lake, or stream.)


Who Salts Your Street?

Is your street salted by the City of Gaithersburg, Montgomery County, or a private entity? Use this map to find out! That way, you know who to call if you notice oversalting or a salt spill in your community.

Online map by the City of Gaithersburg.


Chesapeake Bay TrustCity of Gaithersburg

Project funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust Outreach and Restoration Grant in Partnership with the City of Gaithersburg.

Salt Watch is a trademark of the Izaak Walton League of America.