Across Minnesota, chloride levels in lakes and rivers are on the rise. So far, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has identified 54 lakes with chloride pollution above state standards and more than 70 more that are at risk. Even though salt is common in our diet and needed for winter safety, it harms our lakes and rivers when too much tips the natural balance.

Wintertime brings a surge of chloride pollution from deicers to our waters. The most used deicers are made with sodium chloride and help remove ice by lowering its melting temperature. The chloride part of that chemical sticks around in our environment, causing chloride pollution.

Madeline Seveland is an education coordinator with Carver County Water Management. She can be reachedat mseveland@co.carver.mn.us.

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