GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Normally, salt is placed on streets after snowstorms to prevent crashes, however, research shows that salt is affecting chloride levels in Wisconsin.

Kelly Reyer of Trash Free Water is urging residents to be mindful of using too much salt while attempting to clear the roads.  

“When we put salt down on our roads and our sidewalks, it doesn’t just magically disappear when the snow and the ice melts, it runs off,” said Reyer.

In 2018, the Department of Natural Resources found over 800,000 tons of chloride in Wisconsin rivers. Reyer says salt is leaving a bad taste in mother nature’s mouth.  

“When salt enters our local creeks and streams it is toxic for aquatic plants and animals, just like humans shouldn’t have too much salt, the same is true for aquatic animals,” explained Reyer. 

In 2022 the Brown County Highway Department used one and a half million gallons of brine on the roadways, saving 30-40% of salt usage.  

“We try our best at the highway department to only use what we have to, and we have a brine system,” stated Paul Fontecchio, Brown County Highway Commissioner.  

Commissioner Fontecchio says using brine instead of salt will help prevent high chloride levels. 

“If we’re ever going to change how much salt gets into the roadways and the waterways, we need to be doing more of the brining and that kind of thing as much as we can as technology improves,” said Fontecchio. 

Monday, January 23 to Friday, January 27 is Wisconsin Salt Awareness Week.