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Tools and materials for partners and stakeholders interested in minimizing the impact of chloride on Minnesota lakes, rivers, and groundwater.

Statewide chloride management plan

The MPCA, in collaboration with several partners, completed the State Chloride Management Plan to help local government units, winter maintenance professionals, decision-makers, and others take action to protect Minnesota’s water resources from chloride pollution and to:

  • understand sources of chloride.
  • see trends in chloride pollution statewide.
  • prioritize critical areas for reducing salt use.
  • research and implement strategies to reach local goals.

Reports and guidance

Chloride working group reports (wastewater)

The MPCA formed a work group of eight city representatives and two consulting engineers to study the problem of chloride in wastewater. Learn more:

MPCA surface water monitoring guidance

MPCA direct assistance

The MPCA administers several programs that can assist organizations looking to address salt use and chloride pollution:

  • Chloride reduction grant – The MPCA received Clean Water Funds to create a new chloride reduction grant program. The first grant targeted reductions from business and industrial water softening systems. Visit the Grants and loans page to see current funding opportunities and sign up to be notified when new funding is available.
  • Minnesota GreenCorps – Places AmeriCorps members with host organizations around the state to assist with a variety of environmental efforts, including reducing salt use and minimizing chloride pollution
  • GreenStep Cities – A free, voluntary challenge, assistance, and recognition program to help Minnesota cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. Reducing salt use is one of the recommended best practices.
  • Small Business Environmental Assistance – MPCA's program for helping small businesses meet regulatory obligations and reduce their impact on the environment. Currently offering zero-interest loans to businesses to upgrade equipment to reduce salt use.
  • Clean Water Partnership loans - MPCA offers low-interest loans to local government and tribal communities to implement practices that reduce non-point sources of chloride pollution.

Model chloride ordinances, policies and contracts

Model ordinances

The MPCA partnered with the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District, TetraTech, several local cities and watershed organizations to develop a suite of model ordinances that communities can choose to implement. There are several options to consider which are intended to assist with reducing salt pollution.

Example regulatory rules, policies, and ordinances

Several organizations have implemented various rules, polices and ordinances to reduce salt pollution in their community.

Site winter maintenance management plan templates

The Hennepin County Chloride Initiative (HCCI), a Clean Water Fund project to reduce chloride in water through a coalition of cities and watershed organizations in Hennepin County, has created a winter maintenance/chloride management plan template. The vision for this template is to be used at the time of development or redevelopment permitting to require/request the property manager/responsible party to develop a winter maintenance plan.

Model snow and ice policies

The model snow and ice policy is designed to help county and city governments adopt winter maintenance policies that include protecting the environment among their goals.

Sample policies

Model winter maintenance contract

The city of Edina developed a model contract for snow and ice management that embraces best practices to minimize environmental impacts from salt and other chemicals. Property owners can adapt the language and terms to suit their needs and ensure their contractors are protecting Minnesota waters from chloride pollution.

Educational resources

Resources for organizations engaged in education and outreach on chloride pollution.

New! Low Salt, No Salt Minnesota program

The Hennepin County Chloride Initiative (HCCI), a collaboration of water resource professionals, led the development of and provided expertise for the new Low Salt, No Salt Minnesota program. The program includes a toolbox intended for local government unit (LGU) staff to use to reduce chloride use in their communities. Materials include a presentation, videos, recruitment templates, conversation starters and handouts. This can be used for a variety of audiences; however the targeted audience is property managers, homeowners/townhome associations and faith-based communities. Please utilize these materials to teach about steps to reduce chloride use without a reduction in safety!

Minneapolis Salt mini-course

GreenCorps members with the City of Minneapolis created an online salt mini-course program to teach residents the environmental impacts and best practices for using de-icing salt for winter roads and sidewalks.


Posters, postcards, and other printables

News stories and press releases

Other resources

Water softening

Water softening rebate guide

The MPCA partnered with the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District, TetraTech, several local cities, watershed organizations and local water treatment professionals to develop guidance for communities interested in developing and implementing a rebate program to reduce chloride from home water softeners. This first of its kind guide includes valuable information, resources and specific examples for implementing a successful water softening rebate program.

Water softening resources