Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

March 19, 2021

Legislation Monitoring Winter Road Salt Application, Preventing Potential Well Degregation, Subject of Environment Committee Public Hearing

Today, the Environment Committee held a public hearing to discuss legislation including one emphasizing responsible use of road salts and other sodium chloride. State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), a supporter of the legislation, was encouraged to hear constituents discuss it; in recent years, several constituents of his have reported sodium chloride caused severe degradation to home well systems, causing serious threats to health and home value and sometimes spurring serious expenses for homeowners.

“Beginning in 2019, my constituents raised alarm about the quality of their home well systems, and I learned that irresponsible application of road salts can potentially cause damage to home water systems, also potentially harming the quality of the water itself,” said Sen. Anwar. “It is encouraging to see this legislation be considered, especially as it has negatively impacted families, and may continue to do so if left unchecked. We owe it to our communities to reduce the effects road salt and sodium chloride can have on private wells and public drinking water.”

Senate Bill 1031, “An Act Concerning The Use Of Sodium Chloride To Mitigate Ice And Snow Accumulations,” is designed to provide means and incentives for commercial users of sodium chloride who mitigate ice and snow accumulation – in other words, workers who spread road salt and other preventatives during winter months – to responsibly use those resources. Among the ways it would do so is to create a new training program on “sustainable winter operations” for municipalities; annual certification on proper commercial application of road salts; and end potential liability for commercial applicators should they follow those established programs, among others.

In 2019, Sen. Anwar brought attention to this issue through a Hartford Courant editorial, inspired by his interactions with constituents who informed him of the issues they deal with. At least one family reported “overwhelming” amounts of sodium and chloride in home well water, making it unusable for most daily uses and causing permanent damage to water pipes in the home due to corrosion. Generally, Sen. Anwar wrote, snow management processes, mostly salt-based products, cause the issue, with amounts, consistency, timing and frequency of applications potentially making this issue worse, especially if storm drains are near a home’s well.