Jim Gruenke Aides State Water Quality Program

Water Treatment Manager Jim Gruenke from Traut Companies now serves as a technical advisor to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Smart Salting Assessment Tool (SSAt) program.

The goal is to provide organizations and individuals in Minnesota with data to inform critical decisions for managing salt use. While salting supports severe weather management, various commercial and agricultural practices, and the improvement of water quality through softening, elevated chloride concentrations have become an environmental concern. Assessment and monitoring programs aim to control and redress the environmental impact of salting.

Best Management Practices (BMPs) are identified and incorporated into the SSAt as scientific knowledge grows, and tools and reduction strategies relating to chloride in the environment advance. The SSAt allows users to track their progress over time and generate reports summarizing current and predicted BMPs categorized into advanced, standard, and remedial practices.

The SSAt’s sophisticated assessments are based upon level of service achieved and are updated regularly for the most accurate projections, reporting and estimations. The tool allows for expanded use to include BMPs for residential and industrial water softening practices. Historically, significant levels of water and salt were required to flush water softening systems of unwanted hardness minerals for regeneration, but new, high-efficiency water softeners can make a significant difference and industry innovations have improved to calibrate residential salt use more accurately while minimizing environmental impacts.

Traut Companies offers a full line of efficient water treatment equipment, municipal, and commercial well drilling services and products, irrigation for farm and lawn, residential products and services, and features a full-service state certified water testing laboratory.