Smart Salting training helps improve operator effectiveness and reduce chloride pollution while keeping roads, parking lots, and sidewalks safe. Many organizations that have participated in the Smart Salting training have been able to reduce their salt use by 30-70%! And the training has been shown to prevent chloride contamination in bodies of water. Learn how you and your organization can become Smart Salting certified at the link below.
In Level 1 training, individual road salt applicators learn best practices to reduce their salt use while maintaining safety. Organizations can earn Level 2 certification by assessing their salt use and taking steps to minimize it. The MPCA is now offering a new Smart Salting certification for Property Managers. The goal is to help property managers save money and protect water resources.
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:
Many other winter maintenance staff who have attended the Smart Salting training -- both from cities and counties and from private companies -- have used their knowledge to reduce salt use and save their money for their organizations. Learn more about Minnesota entities that have reduced salt use:
Wisconsin Salt Wise also has some compelling case studies of winter maintenance organizations that have reduced their salt use:
- Manual: Winter parking lot and sidewalk maintenance (p-tr1-10)
- Fact sheet: Winter parking lot and sidewalk maintenance (p-tr1-20)
- Control Point Calibration
- Open Loop Calibration
- Calibrating Manual Sanders
- Calibration Data Record
- Calibration instructions for manual and ground speed controllers
Salt Tolerant Plants
- Minnesota Salt Tolerant Plants (MPCA Stormwater Manual)
- MnDOT Plant Selector Program
- Salt Tolerant Plans (University of Minnesota)
Winter maintenance training for small sites
This two-part video introduces best practices for winter maintenance of small spaces such as sidewalks, entryways, and steps, and offers guidance on deicing materials and application rates.
Part 1 (10 min.)
Part 2 (10 min.)
The MPCA thanks the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, University of Minnesota, and Fortin Consulting for producing this video.
Salt reduction best practices (New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services) — Offers best management practices guidance documents developed as part of a multi-year survey of the best and most applicable technology.
Winter salt certification training resources (WI Salt Wise) — All the resources used in the Madison, Wisc., winter salt training course, grouped by subject.
- Salt solutions program (MnDOT) — Find useful resources on MnDOT's program that includes information on liquid de-icing.
- Minnesota Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) — LTAP helps improve local transportation agencies to foster a safe, efficient, and environmentally sound transportation system. It offers training, conferences, and other resources, including the Snow and ice control material application workshop and Minnesota Snow and Ice Control, a handbook for snowplow operators.
- Clear Roads newsletter — From national research consortium Clear Roads, which focuses on testing winter maintenance materials, equipment, and methods.
- Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA) – A trade organization that offers a variety of resources and information targeted to private snow and ice management professionals.
- See the Statewide resources page for Minnesota model snow and ice policy and the new model contract for snow and ice management services developed by the city of Edina.
If you have questions about the cost and environmental benefits of smart salting, taking the training, finding a certified company near you, or sharing positive salt-saving changes that have benefitted your organization, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.