Salt Watch

You Can Protect Lake George by Monitoring Salt in Our Streams

Monitoring chloride levels in streams helps us understand where efforts are needed to reduce the use of road salt. Less road salt in our streams and soil improves our drinking water, lessens the risk of contaminating wells, protects the foliage that protects the Lake, and may even lower the growth of micro-algae in Lake George.

Winter Salt Watch in Lake George
Salt Watch was launched in 2018 by the Isaak Walton League of America (IWLA) as an easy way for communities to track chloride levels in the local waters they depend on. Because so many rely on stream-fed Lake George, the LGA is thrilled to join this important program in partnership with IWLA as a way to help monitor Lake George.

Anyone in the Lake George basin can participate. Our pilot Salt Watch in 2024 will run from February through April. (The Watch will start in November in subsequent years.) To join, fill out the form below and we will send you a Salt Watch test kit. 

How Salt Watch Works
1. Select a stream in the basin that is safe for you to reach in the winter months.
2. Collect one sample upstream and one downstream with the supplied test kit. Ideally, a road runs between the two locations. 
3. Submit your findings on CleanWaterHub.org

Salt Watch — Isaak Walton League of America
Testing salt levels at West Brook, Lake George, NY, using a Salt Watch test kit

Testing chloride levels in a brook is as simple as collecting the water in a clean plastic or glass container and inserting a test strip. Full instructions for testing and submitting results are included in every test kit.

What’s in the Salt Watch test kit?
Your kit will include easy-to-use test strips, plus a guide with instructions to take chloride readings and submit your results. You will need to bring a small clean glass or plastic container. Please avoid paper cups, because the bleach in the paper will affect test results.

When to Sample
Whenever you can safely approach the stream is the first rule of thumb. You might want to create a regular schedule, or you could sample before and after impactful events, such as:
• before a winter storm
• after salt has been applied to roads
• after the first warm day following a snow or freeze

Ready to Get Started? Fill Out the Form Below

If you know which stream you'd like to sample — safely, of course — let us know using the dropdown in the form or filling in the blank if the stream isn't listed. You don't need to specify a stream now to become a part of Salt Watch.

To request additional test strips, email Dannica Campbell at [email protected]

If you have questions about Salt Watch, email Lindsey Kenna at [email protected]