News & Updates All »

Final Leaf Pickup of 2023

Sunday, December 10, 2023

The Goshen Street Department will make one last round of leaf collecting beginning Monday, December 11. Residents who miss this round can still take their leaves to the Environmental Center. Located at 20100 CR 19, the center accepts brush and leaves, loose or in bags, at no charge to Goshen... more

Goshen continues annual Mirth Tree ornament exchange

Monday, December 4, 2023

'Tis the season for spreading joy and reducing waste in Goshen! The City of Goshen's Department of Environmental Resilience is excited to announce the 3rd Annual Mirth Tree Ornament Exchange, a festive initiative to celebrate the holidays in an eco-friendly way. This is the third year residents... more

City of Goshen awarded state volunteerism award

Friday, December 1, 2023

The Environmental Resilience Department poses with the award. Back L to R: Lee Bergey; Aaron Sawatsky-Kingsley, Director of Environmental Resilience; Levi Moser. Front L to R: Theresa Sailor, Education Grant Writer; Melanie Helmuth, Urban Forestry Assistant; Acadia Imhof; Alexa Kennel; Brandi Devoe,... more

Upcoming Events All »

Board of Works

Today, 2:00pm

To join the webinar please copy and paste this link on your browser: or call +1 312 626 6799. Webinar ID: 884 6925 1269 Comments are no longer taken online.

Shade Tree Board

Today, 7:00pm

This meeting is in-person only.

Redevelopment Commission

Tuesday, December 12, 2023, 3:00pm

Salt Pollution

The pavement is white with excess salt and salt can be seen on the sidewalk by the storm drain.

(Return to the Stormwater Management Home Page) (December 2018 Stormwater Toolbox Newsletter)

Salt Pollution has an Impact on Water Quality and has been given the name 'Freshwater Salinization Syndrome'

Salt Pollution impacts the quality of water in our local waterways (ditches, creeks, rivers, and lakes), as well as our groundwater resources, long after the winter months have passed and salt is no longer being applied to roadways because salt can come from other sources as well.

 (Image credit: Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies)

Many different human activities can increase salt pollution in surface waters and drinking water resources. These activities include the application of road salt, mine drainage, sewage, fracking brine, and agricultural runoff especially fertilizer runoff.


This map shows changes in the salt content of fresh water in rivers and streams across the United States over the past half-century. Warmer colors indicate increasing salinity, while cooler colors indicate decreasing salinity. The black dots represent the 232 U.S. Geological Survey monitoring sites that provided the data for a new study. (Ryan Utz/Chatham University)

Note: it only takes 1 teaspoon of salt to permanently pollute 5 gallons of water to a level that is toxic for freshwater ecosystems.

What Each of us Can Do

Each of us can do our part to make sure salt pollution does not continue to get worse. Here are a few tips:

  • Pre-treat pavement with a small amount of liquid deicer (learn how here and here).
  • Remove snow before it becomes ice; if ice is an issue try using an alternative removal method like a shovel or scrapper.
  • Choose a deicer that works at the current temperature of the pavement you are trying to deice.
  • All salt is not created equal. Rock salt (sodium chloride) works until the pavement is colder than 15°F, then you will either need to use sand or birdseed (for traction) or other deicers like magnesium chloride or calcium chloride (for more information click here and here).
  • Make sure the deicing material you select is not harmful to pets (wipe off paws as necessary) or damaging to the surface where it will be applied.
  • A general rule of thumb is to use 1-3 cups of salt per 1,000 square feet. Save money by only using what you need and if there is any leftover material sweep it up and use it again.
  • Apply liquid salt to the pavement before it snows and shovel a little while it is snowing. After the snow ends shovel first before applying any deicer. Most times, you won't need any. Use deicers only on ice, don't waste it on snow.
  • You can use 30% less deicer if you wet your salt with some water before applying it because it will keep it from bouncing away from where it is applied.
  • Remember - Use only the amount of salt and/or sand needed and sweep up the leftover material. You will know if there is salt residue on the pavement if it is whiter than normal.

  • Test your soil before applying fertilizers to ensure you only use what you need. This will help reduce nutrient runoff especially potassium (K) which is considered a salt.

For information on what the City of Goshen Street Department is doing to reduce the amount of salt added to the environment check out the January 2016 edition of the Stormwater Toolbox Newsletter.

For More Information Check Out The Following Websites or Articles:

  • Be Salt WIse - information that comes from the State of Wisconsin.
  • North American Waterways are Becoming Saltier and More Alkaline (higher pH) - published January 8, 2018 (primary source)
    • For a less scientific version check out the Washington Post article - published January 8, 2018 
  • Saltier Waterways Creating Dangerous 'Chemical Cocktails' - published December 3, 2018 
  • Bitter Truth - Indiana InDepth: Road salt fouls environment - States, cities seek to reduce the impact of treating icy streets - published December 19, 2016
  • Salt Damage in Landscape Plants - Purdue Extension publication ID-412-W

For more in-depth information check out the following scientific research articles from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences published on December 3, 2018:

  • Salt in freshwaters: causes, effects, and prospects - Article 
  • Multiple riparian - stream connections are predicted to change in response to salinization - published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences on December 3, 2018
  • Predicting current and future background ion concentrations in German surface water under climate change - published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences on December 3, 2018
  • Predicting combined effects of land use and climate change on river and stream salinity - published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences on December 3, 2018
  • Novel 'chemical cocktails' in inland waters are a consequence of the freshwater salinization syndrome - published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences on December 3, 2018
  • More articles from this publication can be accessed by clicking here

For more in-depth information check out the following scientific research articles:

  • Freshwater salinization syndrome on a continental scale (the research paper for the first article listed above) - published November 30, 2017, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


(Return to the Stormwater Management Home Page) (December 2018 Stormwater Toolbox Newsletter)