Nine Mile Creek must be put on a “low salt” diet.


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 amount of chloride in the creek make the water unhealthy for the aquatic animals living there.

Tips for Using Less Salt

Person applying salt with a handheld spreaderIt is possible to reduce salt use while maintaining safe surfaces in the winter. Just follow these tips:

Shovel. Clear walkways before snow gets compacted or turns to ice. Apply salt only if needed.

Scatter. More salt does not mean more melting. Aim for 3 inches of space between salt granules. Use salt only where critical.

Switch. Common deicers don’t melt ice below  below 15° Fahrenheit (pavement temperature), so should not be applied. Instead, use a small amount of sand for traction when it is too cold.

Sweep. Clean up leftover salt and sand on dry pavement, so it doesn’t wash into the creek. Reuse it as needed.

Salt Reduction Cup

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 ice melt and always have the application rate on hand. Contact us!

Hiring a Snow Removal ServiceResidential snow plow removing snow

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” to find a list of current trainings or contact the Nine Mile Creek Watershed District at 952-358-2276.

Model Contract for Snow and Ice Management

The focus of this model contract is to embrace best practices to minimize environmental impacts from chlorides, sand, and other chemicals, while also maintaining safety and addressing liability risk allocation.

Model Contract for Snow and Ice Management

Model Contract for Snow and Ice Management- Cover Letter

Model Contract for Snow and Ice Management- Explanatory Memo

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

Smart Salt Toolkit
Improved Winter Maintenance: Good Choices for Clean Water
Winter Maintenance for Small Sites
Buying a Deicer (PDF)
Hiring a Contractor (PDF)
Nine Mile Creek Chloride TMDL (PDF)