Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Road salt storage

Purpose of Trans 277 | Who is subject to Trans 277 | Key provisions | Storage site registration

A Wisconsin salt dome.

Purpose of Trans 277

Under the Wisconsin Administrative code, WisDOT has the responsibility for administering Chapter Trans 277. The purpose of Trans 277 is to prevent contamination of Wisconsinís surface and ground water with chlorides from road salt storage facilities and practices.

Who is subject to Trans 277

Any entity, public or private, that stores indoors or outdoors more than 1,000 pounds of bulk road salt (sodium chloride) for use on a road, driveway or parking facility for the purpose of preventing or removing snow or ice. Bagged salt or salt used for manufacturing is not included under the scope of Trans 277.

Key provisions

  1. Road salt must be stored on an impermeable surface. The best surfaces are made of concrete or asphalt. This surface or "pad" is required whether the salt is stored inside a structure or in a stockpile out of doors. This requirement does not apply to mixtures of salt-sand as long as the mixture is not more than 5% salt by weight. As a general rule, a sand to salt ratio of 12:1 equals approximately 5% salt by weight. Any additional salt in the ratio means that the pile will be treated like a salt only pile and will be held to all the requirements of Trans 277. 5% salt/sand mix ratio.
  2. Road salt must be securely covered year round. This may be accomplished by storing the material in a building or covering it with a waterproof material (generally a tarp) that is sufficiently secured to withstand damage from wind. Securing the tarp with excess salt or salt/sand is not acceptable. Salt-sand mixtures where the mixture is not more than 5% salt by weight need only be covered between April 1 and Oct. 1.
  3. The area surrounding the building or stockpile that is used to receive salt to be stored in the building or stockpile or that is used to load vehicles for distributing salt are to be kept clear of salt residue.
  4. Buildings, pavements and coverings must be kept in good repair so as to prevent direct contact of the salt with precipitation or with run-off from rain or ice and snow melt. Buildings and coverings must also prevent salt particles from becoming airborne due to wind.
  5. There are no construction specifications for salt storage buildings. Any structure that provides the impermeable pad and water proof covering is acceptable.
  6. New salt storage facilities require a 250' setback from any existing private well per NR812.08(4). The setback for municipal wells is 1200' and 50' for shorelines.

Storage site registration

  1. Every salt storage site and structure or stockpile storing salt must be registered with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. This requirement applies to all existing and new sites whether a building or stockpile is intended for temporary or permanent use for salt storage.
  2. Registration is accomplished by contacting the Highway Maintenance section of the WisDOT Regional office in which the site is located. The regional staff will supply the required form DT 1871 and render such assistance as necessary to register the site. This form and other TRANS 277 forms are also available by clicking on the links below.
  3. Trans 277 salt storage forms:

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