IMPACT OF HIGHWAY DEICING SALTS ON RURAL STREAM WATER QUALITY

This study examines chloride concentrations in small rural streams receiving runoff from highways treated with deicing salts. Sampling points were established near Jamesville, New York, on Butternut Creek and some of its smaller tributaries. Higher mean chloride levels were found downstream of the highway than upstream. Downstream dilution reduced mean chloride levels in approximately inverse proportion to the additional watershed area; the higher variability was still evident. The chloride level in highway runoff was correlated by linear regression with the level in the receiving stream. Other relations were developed by investigating downstream dilution, stream confluence, temperature, and recent salt applications. Precipitation and temperature seem to act as controls on the release of salts from the highway area into natural drainage systems. There are also indications that much salt can be temporarily stored in the roadway vicinity until it rains. Intensive sampling showed that chloride concentrations can vary significantly in a matter of hours. And, when salt infiltrates to soil, stream chloride levels vary long after the season of salt applications. /Author/

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 47-52
  • Monograph Title: Evaluating Bridge Structures, Pavement Maintenance, Roadside Management, Deicing Salts, Transport of Hazardous Materials
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00184733
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309026768
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-024 782
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Dec 29 1978 12:00AM