Water Quality Implications and the Toxicological Effects of Chloride-Based Deicers

Traditionally, the main priority of winter road maintenance has been assigned to level of service, cost-effectiveness, and corrosion rather than other less well-characterized effects such as impacts to water quality. It is increasingly vital to understand the environmental footprint of deicers, including their impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Chloride based deicers do not degrade in the natural environment and their application on winter pavements can lead to accumulation in adjacent environments over time. Information presented to date on deicers generally includes chemical composition and performance of deicers, while additional information on deicer aquatic toxicity is needed to enable fully-informed decisions by stakeholders. This work presents a state-of-the-knowledge review of the impacts of chloride based deicers and additives on water and aquatic species, and the issue of heavy metal leaching. Toxicity associated with the direct effect of deicers or with the indirect effect via their interactions with runoff chemistry is reviewed as well. This work will assist the stakeholder agencies in the search for effective practices to reduce the toxicity and other water quality implications of chloride based deicers.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Pagination: pp 272-292
  • Monograph Title: Environmental Sustainability in Transportation Infrastructure

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01573430
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780784479285
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: Jul 30 2015 3:02PM