Winter maintenance and salting tips

A person in a coat shovels snow off a sidewalk.

While road and sidewalk salt makes life easier during the winter, too much causes serious problems for the river. Just 1 teaspoon of salt is enough chloride to permanently pollute 5 gallons of river, lake or creek water.

Visit these sites for information to reduce your environmental impact while making your sidewalks and driveways safer to travel. And sign up to be a River Guardian to help reduce the amount of salt we use statewide.

Quick tips for reducing chloride pollution:

  • Shovel early and often to keep ice from forming.
  • Sweep up excess salt and leftover salt after it's melted ice and before it enters a storm drain.
  • Only apply salt when it's above 15 degrees since most salts stop working in the bitter cold.
  • Don't overapply: One coffee mug-full is enough for 10 sidewalk squares or a 20' driveway. One grain melts a 3" circle of ice.
  • Consider alternatives to salt. Use sand for traction. 
  • When driving, slow down to protect public safety and make the most of salt on our roads.  

More resources:

Return to Landscape for the River

Become a River Guardian

Sign up and we'll email you when important river issues arise. We make it quick and easy to contact decision-makers. River Guardians are also invited to special social hours and other events about legislative and metro river corridor issues.

Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 20, 2024 - 9:30am to 12:00pm
West River Parkway and 36th Street/44th Street, Minneapolis
Applications due Friday, May 3 by 5 p.m.
Virtual and in-person
Thursday, May 9, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Hastings Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area