What You Can Do

winter salt watch logo

You can make a difference in how salt is applied in your community and state!

There are a number of ways you can take action to protect your local streams while also making sure travelers are safe! Whether you change your own salting practices, talk to a neighbor, or write to your legislator, you’re helping to protect clean water in America.

Study up on salt

Salt smarter at home

  • A good rule of thumb is to use 12 ounces of rock salt on 10 sidewalk squares or a 20-foot driveway. How much is 12 ounces? Use an old coffee mug as a salt scoop, and you’ve got it.

  • You do not have to feel “the crunch” for salt to do its job. Salt lowers the freezing temperature of water so snow and ice can be more easily removed. Putting more salt on a surface does not make snow and ice melt faster or eliminate the need for plowing or shoveling.

  • If the air temperature is below 15 degrees, sodium chloride won't work! Switch to sand or a different ice melter.

  • Subscribe to our clean water newsletter for monthly updates on ways you can take action for better water quality in your community.

  • Or, please consider making a donation to support our clean water work.

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Talk to your neighbors and get the word out

  • Write a Letter to the Editor of your local newspaper or other news outlet to educate your community about this issue. You can start with our sample letter and adapt it for your use. (Download the Word file.)

  • Educate neighbors and business owners in your community about how they can reduce their salt usage while still staying safe in the winter. Download a flier with tips for winter driving or one with info on hiring a salt-smart snow removal contractor.

Support smarter salting training and practices in your community

  • Call your city or county department of environmental protection to report high chloride levels or large salt piles (either piles spilled on the road or uncovered piles awaiting future use).

  • Share road salt best practices with your community managers and state agencies.

  • Write to your state legislators in support of salt reduction and smarter salt use in your community. You can start with our sample letter. (Download the Word file.) Or start from a more region-specific letter for Maryland, Minnesota, Virginia or Wisconsin. [Waiting for these drafts]