Salt Management

Salt is a major water quality concern. The salt spread on the ground does not go away. Eventually this salt mixes with groundwater; the water we drink.

Help keep salt out of groundwater

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Why salt is a water quality concern

Once salt is in the water, there is no easy fix to remove it. Current water and wastewater treatment does not remove salt from the water. Removing salt requires desalination which is extremely expensive and energy intensive, and greatly increases greenhouse gases. Including desalination as part of the treatment process would also result in much higher water costs for the community.

Chloride levels from salt are increasing in groundwater wells. The image below compares chloride levels in Region of Waterloo municipal groundwater wells between 1998 and 2018. The orange and red dots are groundwater wells with chloride levels near or exceeding the 250 mg/L limit.

The Ontario Drinking Water Objectives for chloride is 250 mg/L. This is when a salty taste may be detectable by some people. The Region of Waterloo must mix groundwater from different wells to lower the chloride levels.

Map showing chloride levels at Region of Waterloo municipal supply wells

What the Region of Waterloo is doing

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