Nine Mile Creek must be put on a “low-salt” diet to protect it from harmful effects of winter road salting.


Nine Mile Creek has too much chloride in it. The chloride comes from salt used in the winter on roads, parking lots, and sidewalks. The levels of salt in the creek make the water unhealthy for the aquatic animals living there.

Tips for Using Less Salt

good-saltingIt is possible to reduce salt use while maintaining safe surfaces in the winter. Just follow these tips:

Shovel that snow. The more snow that you can shovel or snow blow, the less salt you will need. Get out early and keep up with the storm.

Apply less. More salt does not mean more melting. Use less than four pounds of salt per 1,000 square feet. One pound of salt is about a heaping 12-ounce cup.

Leave space between granules. There should be about 3 inches between each salt granule. A handheld spreader will help you achieve this spread pattern. This should provide enough melting power to break the bond between the snow/ice and the pavement, so the material can be shoveled.

Temperature matters. Most salts stop working below 15° Fahrenheit (pavement temperature), so should not be applied. Instead, use a small amount of sand for traction.

Sweep up extra. Salt and sand on dry pavement is not doing any work and will be washed into the creek. Sweep up the extra and reuse it.

Salt Scoop

Get a free Nine Mile Creek salt cup by visiting Discovery Point or contacting the District. Leave this handy salt scoop with your bag and always have the application rate on hand. Contact us!

Hiring a Snow Removal ServiceSnow-Plow_Residential

You can hire a contractor that has agreed to protect our waters by using less salt. These contractors have taken a class and passed a test to become certified by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

For a list of certified individuals, visit:

Do you like your current snow removal service, but they aren’t certified? Ask them to attend a free training! Search “MPCA Salt Education” on the internet to find a list of current trainings or contact the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District at 952-358-2276.

Certified snow removal contractors have agreed to voluntarily apply best management practices to reduce the impacts from chloride to our lakes and creeks.

Additional Resources

Improved Winter Maintenance: Good Choices for Clean Water
Winter Maintenance for Small Sites
Buying a Deicer (PDF)
Hiring a Contractor (PDF)