Child and adult shoveling driveway

The fish will thank you

Unless you are ice-fishing, you may not think about Eagan’s fish populations this time of year. But if you use salt on your driveway, you should.

Currently, there are 21 lakes, 22 streams, and 4 wetlands in Minnesota with unacceptable levels of chloride (the chemical found in common road and driveway salt that can harm aquatic life). Thankfully none of Eagan’s waterbodies are in this group. Adopting good practices now can help fight against salt pollution and future harm to lakes and fish.

The City’s water resources division reminds and advises residents to be SMART when using salt in winter:

  • Shovel snow from walks and driveways before it gets compacted and turns to ice. This will reduce the salt needed to clear away ice later.
  • Moderation. More salt does not mean more melting. An average driveway (1,000 sq. ft.) only needs four 12 oz. cups of salt.
  • Apply less. Any excess salt can wash down storm drains to lakes and ponds, harming fish and plant life or polluting groundwater.
  • Reuse. If salt or sand is visible on dry pavement, it is no longer doing its job and will be washed away. Sweep it up and reuse it next time it snows.
  • Temperature affects how salt works. Most deicing products do not work when it's below 15° F. Try using small amounts of sand to reduce slipping. Again, sweep this up when pavement dries.

City crews are salt SMART too

Every Eagan plow driver is trained to use less salt and apply deicers wisely. The goal is to provide the safest roads and trails we can, using the least chemical treatments possible. Their equipment helps in the battle as application technology can monitor the amounts of salt or brine being applied. This is based on the current road temperature, the truck speed and other factors.

For more information and tips about protecting Eagan’s waterbodies, visit