Wednesday Webinars

Catch the latest in Salt Wise happenings via YouTube-livestreamed conversations over the noon hour (12-1pm CT) with private contractors, facility managers, and more. Tune in live to ask questions over the chat. Register in advance to receive a reminder email with a direct link the morning of the program.


April webinar poster

May 8 - Salt Wise Stories: Walworth County

Barry Pierce, Deputy Highway Commissioner, will describe Walworth County's use of route data in post-storm debriefing reports and individual conversations with operators. In the last several years, the County has gone big with brine and high pre-wetting rates that have drastically cut their granular salt use.


June 12 - Salt Wise Stories: City of Sun Prairie

JR Brimmer and Ben John will discuss the City's salt use evolution through calibration and the institution of anti-ice treatments with the use of salt brine, beet juice, Geomelt, etc. Hear the story of how a department moved from conventional over salting to one whose staff take pride in the judicial use of materials.


July 10 - Fire and ICE! Strategies for dealing with ice on roadways.

Matt Wittum, Highway Superintendent with the Town of Linn, joins us in July for his SIXTH Salt Wise webinar. In the heat of Summer (FIRE), he'll address the complexities of dealing with ICE on winter roads.


August 7 - Salt Wise Stories: City of Superior

Megan Hogfeldt from the City's Water Resources team facilitates annual trainings for public works staff on the true cost of road salt and salt reduction practices. Additionally, the City Streets Department hosts an in-house Snow Plow Roadeo on the "do's and don'ts" of plowing, areas of concern, salt application, and forklift license renewal.


September 11 - The Salt Watch Community Science Initiative

Since 2018, the Izaak Walton League Salt Watch program has been mobilizing community scientists across the nation to monitor chloride (road salt) levels in their local waterways and advocate for smarter salting practices. Join Abby Hileman, Salt Watch Program Manager, to learn more about how to protect freshwater from road salt pollution and how to turn water monitoring data into action.


October 2 - Salt Wise Stories: Village of Bayside

Shane Albers, Operations Superintendent, recounts how the Village has transformed its snow and ice maintenance program in the last few years including the introduction of liquids and comprehensive training of all staff.


December 4 - Salt Wise Stories: City of Appleton

Nate Loper, Deputy Director of Public Works, will overview changes at the City of Appleton from bumping up pre-wetting rates to dialing down their trigger warning for plowing. The City used to plow streets at 2" or more of accumulation. They now plow mains at 0.25" and residentials at 1.5". This singular change has signficantly reduced their salt use and provides a better overall situation for motorists.



Archived Webinars


A Salt Brine Field Study

Andi Bill and her team at UW-Madison's Traffic Operations and Safety Lab have published the results of a 2-year field study analyzing road conditions after brine or rock salt applications during 50+ storms across Wisconsin. How does brine measure up in terms of time to bare/wet pavement, surface friction, etc.? Spoiler alert: brine kicks asphalt!


American Family Insurance Tracks Salt Savings

American Family Insurance strives to create a safe and healthy environment for employees and waterways. With the help of Salt Wise practices and the creation of internal processes, they have seen an average of 50% reduction in winter salting over the last two years. Controlling pollutants while ensuring safety has become a priority for contractors and in-house staff. Come hear their journey from over-salting to reaching reduction goals.


Behind the Scenes of a Chloride TMDL

In 2004, one of the first Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) limits for chloride from urban sources was published for three watersheds draining the western suburbs of Chicagoland. The TMDL looked at salt (chloride) contributions from both wastewater and urban runoff and recommended load reduction targets. It did not, however, provide any guidance on how to reach those targets. This presentation will explain how local agencies organized to meet the challenge, from reviewing the TMDL's analyses and identification of goal practices, to tracking the progress made.


Brine 101

Looking for a primer on how to incorporate salt brine into your winter maintenance toolbelt? Matt Wittum, Town of Linn Highway Superintendent, is your man. Matt helped design and lead the smart salting training program in northern Illinois before jumping across the border. He has published several articles on brine use and is eager to assist others in any way he can.


Brine Blends

When temps drop below 15F salt brine doesn't cut it, but where do you start? Calcium, magnesium, beet juice, proprietary products? 90/10, 80/20? The options for concocting the perfect solution can be overwhelming. Matt Wittum, Highway Superintendent with the Town of Linn, tackles the topic of blending additives into brines and welcomes your input. 


Brine on a Budget

Matt Wittum, Highway Superintendent with the Town of Linn, joins us again to advise smaller municipalities or anyone who may be interested in using salt brine but is running into budget issues. 


Chloride Impact Study

From 2018-2021, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) monitored chloride and conductance in 40 streams and 6 lakes for their Chloride Impact Study. Laura Herrick, SEWRPC Chief Environmental Engineer, will update us on the study field work, data results, and analyses.


Demystifying Deicers

Dive into the key ingredients of traditional ice melters and what influences price with Stacey Balsley, Winter Products Manager at Reinders Inc. Which products really are "pet-friendly," "environmentally-friendly," "effective down to -20F?" Discover the field of non-chlorides. Gain tips to manage your material output and bottom line through calibration.


Direct Liquid Application (DLA)

Bill Kern, Jefferson County Highway Department, will join us to discuss the use of salt brine in winter maintenance operations. The focus will be on direct liquid application during all three phases of a winter storm event: pre-storm, during the storm, and post-storm.


Get Salt Wise with Private Contractors

Owners and managers from private winter maintenance companies in the Madison-area discuss their transitions to Salt Wise practices after attending a Smart Salting workshop. Matt Maier, Envirosealers, Jeremy Johnson, The Bruce Company, and Dan Dean, MAD Plowing & Mowing, will share tips and tricks on application rates that work, brine use for parking lots and sidewalks, and conversations with customers.


Granular & Liquid Deicer Calibration

Calibration is a key best practice in winter maintenance. Properly calibrated equipment helps agencies ensure consistent application rates, gain invaluable data for trials, and determine a viable starting point during an event. Bryan Pickworth, Road Maintenance Supervisor at the City of Farmington Hills, Michigan, has helped share his knowledge on calibration of de-icing equipment at state and national conferences across the US.


Green SnowPro: Liability Protection in NH

New Hampshire's voluntary Commercial Salt Applicator Certification program (Green SnowPro) has been in effect for over a decade. Staff from New Hampshire's Department of Environmental Services will discuss the program's evolution, lessons learned, and how the limited liability protection for Green SnowPro certified contractors has played out in the courts.


Legal and Policy Strategies for Chloride Management

Dave Strifling, J.D. P.E., Director of Marquette University's Water Law and Policy Initiative, will describe a menu of responsive legal and policy options to the problem of chloride pollution. These strategies will include legal protection from slip-and-fall liability, informational strategies to encourage optimal chloride use, green infrastructure and chloride alternative, integrated watershed management, and direct economic measures.


Mayo Clinic says, “Hold the Salt”

From financial savings on salt, to reduced damage to infrastructure, and everything in-between, learn from Nick Queensland, former Facilities Manager, how Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus 50% drop in salt use has been a win-win-win with no impact to their level of service.


Milwaukee Riverkeeper: Keeping Freshwater Fresh

The Milwaukee Riverkeeper team helped pilot a statewide citizen monitoring protocol for chloride in 2010. They have continued monitoring salt levels in local streams ever since. Their data has identified and led to the listing of over 117 miles of impaired streams in the Milwaukee River basin. Cheryl Nenn will discuss Riverkeeper's multi-pronged approach to protecting the rivers of Southeast Wisconsin through increased monitoring, professional trainings, public outreach, and policy change.


Salt Brine: The Facts and Myths

Have you heard that brine is more corrosive than rock salt? Perhaps you've bought into the idea that using brine requires significant investments in expensive new equipment? Is brine "the answer" for winter maintenance? Learn the facts and myths about brine use from Matt Wittum, Town of Linn Highway Superintendent.


Salt Wise Stories: City of De Pere

Tony Fietzer, Street Superintendent with the City of De Pere, will overview De Pere's salt reduction strategies, successes, and next steps.


Salt Wise Stories: City of Eau Claire

Cory Tietz, Street Division Supervisor with the City of Eau Claire, will overview Eau Claire's salt reduction strategies, successes, and next steps. When the Streets Department was told that a new section of highway was to receive NO salt, Cory's team went into overdrive. This challenge propelled them to rethink winter maintenance city-wide. They are pushing the envelope on gallons/ton used for pre-wetting salt (think 80+), engaging citizens through entertaining and informational social media posts, and saving thousands of dollars on salt.


Salt Wise Stories: City of Stevens Point

Chris Johnson will discuss the City's journey through calibration, to the incorporation of rate charts (based on pavement temps) in cabs, the use of beet juice and Geomelt, etc. Learn how a mid-sized City has dialed in their salt applications AND started an outreach program with local elementary schools.


Salt Wise Stories: UW-Whitewater

Joe Post has served on UW-Whitewater grounds for 22 years. He played a pivotal role in initiating the use of salt brine on campus. Since this switch, they've reduced total salt use by 50%. Joe is constantly working to improve methods and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others.


Smart Salting: Reviewing the Basics

When we talk smart salting, liquids get a lot of buzz, but other best practices are equally important. Attention to salting speed, spinner speed, and materials (treated salt vs straight salt), can significantly reduce total salt use. Increasing the efficiency of mechanical removal by choosing the right cutting edge and adjusting your plowing speed has direct implications on salt rates as well. Matt Wittum, Highway Superintendent with the Town of Linn, dives in BMPs that every agency should be using.



Smarter Salting in 60 Minutes

A mini-version of our popular Smart Salting for Parking Lots and Sidewalks training. This webinar is designed for winter maintenance professionals who remove snow, apply road salt or maintain snow removal equipment used on parking lots and sidewalks. Topics will include: best management practices to keep paved areas safe, benefits of using a liquid salt system, and guidance on how to determine the right amount of salt to use.


Starkweather Creek Chloride Reduction Efforts

Starkweather Creek, an urbanized stream in Madison, is listed as impaired by chloride. Since 2020, the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC) has been working with local stakeholders to monitor chloride concentrations in the creek, identify chloride sources and management measures, and develop an outreach plan to reduce salt use. Mike Rupiper, CARPC’s Director of Environmental Resource Planning will report on lessons learned and next steps.



The Why and How of Liquids

Salt use has major ramifications to property and infrastructure longevity and value. Each ton of salt applied causes $800-$3,000 in long-term property and infrastructure damage. From concrete to asphalt, to turf and landscaping, door jambs and interior flooring and beyond. Jordan Smith, VSI, will dive into the not-so-hidden costs of de-icing salt and ways to reduce the amount that we need to use to maintain safe properties.


Water Softener Brine Reclamation

After taking a Smart Salting class, USDA Forest Products Lab Facilities Operations staff in Madison, WI, put their heads together and designed a system to capture their waste water softener discharge. Rather than pump this waste brine down the drain, they are using it for pre-treatment  on their parking lots. They are slashing their winter maintenance costs, reducing overall salt use, and loving the results. Bob Ramos, Katharine Drake, and Keven Kramer will cover all aspects of this innovative project.


Where have all the Mayflies gone?

Bob Miltner, Ohio EPA, and Kevin Goodwin, Michigan Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, discuss recent research from Great Lakes states into the toxic impacts of road salts on native freshwater species. Their findings suggest that state-level understanding of salts may help better protect vulnerable species.

WI Salt Wise Partnership: A coalition of organizations working together to reduce salt pollution in our lakes, streams and drinking water.