Riversides -- Where Water Quality Begins

Municipal Low-Salt Diet


The Municipal Low-Salt Diet was established in 2000 to bring attention to the threats and impacts that municipal and private property use of chloride salt has on our ecosystem (aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity), our infrastructure (rotting bridges, decaying sidewalks, corroded pipes) and our drinking water safety (contaminated rivers and groundwater).

Chloride road salt is an ecosystem toxic substance as declared by Environment Canada and Health Canada in 2000.

Chloride salt runoff from roadways, parking lots, and storage facilities is discharged into our rivers and lakes via soil infiltration to groundwater, dust or direct sewer system discharges. Chloride salt contaminates meltwater from roadways or parking lot surfaces, and flows across impervious surfaces into curb catch basins and storm sewers before being discharged to local creek, river or lake.

A Low-Salt Diet for Ontario's Roads and Rivers provides an overview of road salts use in Canada, the current state of regulation and policy, the ecosystem, socio-economic and health implications, and alternative substances for winter road maintenance, all with the intention of informing the debate concerning our over-reliance on road salts.

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A Low-Salt Diet for Ontario's Roads and Rivers

Media release (pdf)

Full report (pdf)

Summary report (pdf)


Two Wheels Green Delivery

Get your rain barrel delivered on a bike!
This green and carbon-free delivery is available to residents in Toronto's downtown (Pape to the east, Eglinton to the north and Keele to the west).