Skip to main content



Chloride is found naturally in seawater and certain minerals. However, the major source in which it enters the environment is through its use to deice roads during the winter, fertilizers, and sewage. Because they are extremely cheap and effective, Cl – compounds are used heavily during the winter to deice roads, ending up in surface waters everywhere.

Chloride is very soluble and mobile, compounding its effects as a pollutant. Additionally, once chloride has entered an ecosystem, it can take years to exit it, as there is no natural way it is metabolized or flushed from the organisms and water. It increases the salinity of these habitats, which can ruin the balance of osmosis and diffusion in cells, killing many organisms.


Click on the solution below for more information
  • Adopt

    Are you a member of a group or organization in your community that would be interested in adopting this waterway? Contact us if you’re interested in learning more about stream adoption.

    Learn more about adopting a stream

  • Allow for natural growth near waterways

    If you live or work next to a waterway, leave a 35′ to 100′ no mow zone on its banks. Allow natural and native plant growth in this buffer area or plant native trees, bushes, and groundcover. This vegetation can filter pollutants before they reach your waterway and provide other water quality benefits that far exceed those of a mowed lawn. Native plants and grasses require less watering and fertilizer and also provide important habitat for native species of wildlife.

    Resources include:

    • Free trees for Tennesseans during TEC’s annual statewide 100K Tree Day – TN Environmental Council
    • Purchase Native Wildflower/Grass Alternatives to Mowed Grass – Roundstone Native Seed and/or Seedland
    • Tennessee Aquatic Stream Clean Up and Riparian Tree Grant (Scroll to bottom of linked page for more info) – TN Wildlife Resources Agency
    • General Guidelines for Volunteer Based Riparian Buffer Plantings – TN Environmental Council
    • Improving Stream Channels With Live Staking – UT Extension
    • Tennessee Urban Riparian Buffer Handbook – TN Dept. of Agriculture
    • Landscaping with Native Plants in West, Middle, and East TN – TN Wildlife Resources Agency
    • Native Plants for TN – UT Extension
    • Forest Stewardship Program and Landowner Services – KY Division of Forestry
    • Plant Availability Guide – KY Department of Agriculture
    • State Nurseries and Tree Seedlings – KY Division of Forestry