Be smart with your salt – join the Salt Symposium online, Aug. 3-4

In the Vermillion River Watershed, we’ve improved our water quality over the past 13 years by diverting wastewater away from the river. The chloride (salt) concentration in the river dropped by more than 60% in 2008 and has stayed fairly low ever since. However, that number is starting to increase again, if ever so slightly.

While it’s difficult to specifically pinpoint the sources of chloride pollution, something we can all control is our salt usage. De-icing salt makes life easier for us during the winter, but when the ice melts, the salt goes with it to our rivers and streams. The higher the chloride concentration, the greater the risk to local wildlife and recreation, and if left unchecked, it could seep into the groundwater that we drink.

Fortunately, the experts at Fortin Consulting have ideas to help. The annual Salt Symposium is coming up again, on Aug. 3 and 4 hosted virtually. Per their website, “the Salt Symposium celebrates the minimization and optimization of salt use. We work with professionals from across industrial and economic sectors by examining state-of-the-art research developments and advanced best practices for reducing salt use.” With speakers from across the state and country and even Canada, you can learn about all the ways chloride is used in our daily lives and how to mitigate it.

The early bird deadline to register for the Salt Symposium has been extended to July 8 – don’t wait to take advantage of the discounted price. You can participate from anywhere! Learn more, see the agenda, and register at

Additionally, if you register for the Salt Symposium, you’re also eligible to attend free Smart Salting trainings with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Aug. 5 and 6! The three training sessions are: roads, property management, and parking lots and sidewalks – register for those at

With a little extra knowledge, we can keep our Vermillion River healthy.