Waconia honored at Road Salt Symposium

The Freshwater Society recently presented Environmental Leadership Awards to Craig Eldred, Al Melchert, Hans Rowe, Michael Dressel and Justin Sorensen from the city of Waconia’s Public Services Department. They were recognized for their efforts in helping to reduce the amount of chlorides from road salt impacting our waters.
Waconia’s Public Services Department takes pride in its responsibilities of snow and ice removal and is now equally proud for contributing to the health of our waters while continuing to safely maintain their streets.
Through efforts of calibration and equipment changes, the city of Waconia has been able to reduce material rates per-pound by 70 percent. The addition of pre-wet practices and material savings based upon weather and pavement conditions has amounted to $1.80 cost savings per-lane-mile and a yearly savings of $8,600.
On sidewalks and trails, Eldred and his staff have taken the initiative to switch from granular chloride products to liquid applications only. They conduct anti-icing and deicing activities as needed on sidewalks and trails where substantial savings have also occurred. They have obtained a “Local Operational Research Assistance Program” grant for $5,000. The research found a savings of 70 percent for activities related to recreational critical areas through the use of liquids for trails and sidewalks.
Waconia has assisted neighboring communities with calibration and providing liquids at cost which helps to reduce chlorides applied throughout Carver County. The city plans to continue to look for and implement new and more efficient ways to conduct winter maintenance. The entire staff is committed to a high level of excellence and applying best management practices to mitigate chloride pollution while maintaining public safety.
Since 2001, Freshwater Society has convened an annual Road Salt Symposium to bring about awareness of the impacts of chlorides in ground and surface waters. Each year, the latest research on chloride pollution is presented along with alternatives to road salt and best management practices. Environmental Leadership Awards are presented to organizations that have made significant changes to reduce impacts of chlorides and promoted awareness of the issue.
For more information about the Annual Road Salt Symposium or the Environmental Leadership Awards,  visit www.freshwater.org or contact Jeanne at (952) 314-8133 or [email protected]