Smart Salting training helps improve operator 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%. And the training has been shown to prevent chloride contamination in bodies of water.

Find all of our upcoming trainings on our events calendar. Use the event type and category filters to quickly find relevant trainings organized by topic.

Upcoming training

Level 1 individual training

In Level 1 training, individual road salt applicators learn best practices to reduce their salt use while maintaining safety. Participants earn a five-year certification that they can renew by passing another class.

  • Roads class – High/low speed snowplow operation
  • Parking lot/sidewalk class – Maintaining private/public walkways and/or parking lots and service roads

Who should attend? State, city, and county road maintenance staff, private winter maintenance contractors, property management staff, snowplow drivers.

Level 2 organizational training

Organizations can earn Level 2 certification by assessing their salt use using the Smart Salting assessment tool and taking steps to minimize it. Participants can be certified by using the tool directly or working through it in a level 2 training. Participants earn a two-year certification that they can renew by submitting the required reports.

To get certified using the tool directly:

  • Using the assessment tool, complete the best management practices and salt savings assessments for the most recently completed winter maintenance season (e.g., a January 1, 2022, report would be based on the 2020/2021 season). Submit one assessment for your whole organization or multiple, as long as each has a unique address (e.g., separate facilities or branch offices).
  • On your user home page, click "Select Reports" at the bottom right.
    1. Select the appropriate completed reports for your organization. (Reports should include all of the surface type(s) in which you are involved, not a separate report for each surface type.):
      • BMP Reports: Response Summary (current)
      • BMP Reports: Comparison of Responses Between Assessment Periods (current and future)
      • Salt Savings Reports: Summary Report (current and future)
    2. Click "Submit."

If the submitted reports are complete, the tool will generate a certificate for your organization.

Property management training

Learn how to use less salt while maintaining safe parking lots and sidewalks, to save money and protect water resources. Participants earn a three-year certification that they can renew by passing another class.

Who should attend? Property managers, local government decision makers

Certified individuals and organizations

Training success stories

In Dakota County, the MPCA and its partners tracked effectiveness of Smart Salting training through two winters. Fourteen months after the county's snow plow drivers took the course, the evaluation showed measureable improvements. In the first season after the training, the county used 14,175 tons of salt for 35 snow events (average: 405 tons per event). In the next season, the county used 9,585 tons of salt for 27 events (average: 355 tons per event). This correlates to about 40 million gallons of freshwater protected from chloride contamination per snow event. Learn more:

Winter maintenance staff who have attended the Smart Salting training — both from cities/counties and private companies — have used their knowledge to reduce salt use and save their money for their organizations.

Stay connected

Sign up for Smart Salting updates and information about reducing chloride pollution in Minnesota.

Resources

Calibration

Salt-tolerant plants

More information

The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, University of Minnesota, and Fortin Consulting produced two videos to introduce best practices for winter maintenance of sidewalks, entryways, and steps, and offers guidance on deicing materials and application rates.