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Avoid wasting salt and money at your business

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Businesses, multifamily residences, and institutions can use hundreds, even thousands of pounds of salt every month. Large water softeners feed processes and equipment that use a lot of soft water, such as cooling towers, boilers, laundry, dishwashing and industrial systems. Additionally, businesses that have parking lots and sidewalks are responsible for snow and ice removal in these areas in the winter.

Inefficient salt use in softeners or on parking lots and sidewalks wastes time and money and contributes to elevated chloride in the environment. Take the steps below to avoid wasting salt at your business and to keep our waters fresh.

Ensure efficient use of softener salt

An old or inefficiently configured water softener can waste a large amount of salt in a commercial setting, so replacing these softeners can make a big difference in salt use. Even newer softeners have the potential for salt reduction with add-ons such as brine reclaim. Some commercial facilities have even eliminated salt use in some systems by finding alternatives to softened water. Explore these actions and resources for reducing salt use in your facility.

The District encourages all new buildings in its service area to utilize its best management practices for water softening guide when designing plumbing and choosing and installing water softeners.

Commit to smart winter maintenance

Excessive road salt use is another source of chloride pollution that wastes money for businesses. You can keep your sidewalks and driveways safe without using piles of salt. Visit Wisconsin Salt Wise for actions you can take to reduce road salt at your business.

We also recommend that all staff and contractors that apply salt on your grounds be certified through the City of Madison Winter Salt Certification. If you hire a contractor to remove snow and ice from your property, hire one that has been through this training. The District has road salt grants available for projects that reduce road salt.

Learn from other businesses

Many businesses in the Madison area have successfully reduced water softener and road salt. Several of these businesses received funding from the District to support salt reduction projects. Read these business case studies to learn about successful projects.

Water softeners on Building WI TV

Watch this episode of Building Wisconsin TV to learn how we can all help solve the problem of to much salt going into freshwater streams from water softeners. Hear from District pollution prevention manager Kathy Lake, Allison Madison from WI Salt Wise, Steve Breitlow and Cory Thompson from Plumbers Local 75 and others for tips on how a water softener works, how they’re repaired and when they should be replaced.