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Wisconsin Salt Awareness Week is underway until Jan. 27 to spotlight threats that road salt poses to our rivers, lakes, and drinking water. The Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network and its affiliates through the Wisconsin Salt Wise Partnership are educating the public about the growing concerns related to road salt pollution.

Winter salt and deicers are common water pollutants. Once extracted from its original pockets within the earth and then connected with water, chlorides persist indefinitely.

Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network reports one teaspoon of road salt will permanently pollute five gallons of freshwater.


The week of salt awareness webinars kicked off on Jan. 23 and will continue throughout the week.

Five speakers over five days will educate Wisconsinites about the environmental toll of deicers, salts in our drinking water, actions the Wisconsin DNR is planning, and how residents can get involved.

Tune into the salt awareness livestreams through the Wisconsin Salt Wise YouTube channel or register at

“Southeastern Wisconsin resides near Lake Michigan, one of the largest bodies of freshwater in the world. Those who impact and utilize this rare and critical freshwater resource have the inherited responsibility to protect it from pollutants. Root-Pike WIN is proud to be a resource for residents and municipalities of southeastern Wisconsin in protecting our shared freshwater resources”, said Laura Buska, Respect Our Waters Program Manager of Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network.

Salt awareness and pollution

Using more salt than necessary doesn’t melt ice faster or make our roads or sidewalks safer. Instead, according to a press release from WI Salt Wise, excess salt prematurely ages infrastructures and damages freshwater resources.

To combat this problem, municipalities across the state are working to reduce salt use while continuing to ensure public safety. Finding this threshold happens through improved mechanical removal, calibration and the precision application of deicers. By focusing first on removing as much snow as possible and then, when necessary, using proper salting techniques, residents and businesses can reduce taxpayer expenses on winter maintenance, safeguard the community and protect local freshwater.

About Root-Pike WIN

Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network, a member of the WI Salt Wise Partnership, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to restore, protect and sustain the watersheds of the Root-Pike basin. Learn more about salt awareness and other endeavors, and find out how you can get involved on the Root-Pike WIN website.

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