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SFS Annual Meeting

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EFFECT OF ROAD SALT APPLICATION ON SEASONAL WATER CHEMISTRY IN SOUTH-CENTRAL INDIANA STREAMS

To prevent the harmful impacts to aquatic and riparian life that could occur as the result of road salt application, more research is needed in regions where urbanization is occurring and road density is high. We monitored 4 different streams in south-central Indiana located in watersheds that vary in degree of urbanization. Grab samples were collected and analyzed for major anions and cations, and electrical conductivity was measured in-situ at each stream regularly during the non-winter season and at least weekly during the winter season. During the winter season, if precipitation occurred (in the form of rain or snow), samples were collected before, during, and after the event. Initial results show that conductivity, which can be directly correlated to chloride concentrations, increased during winter precipitation events. For example, specific conductivity at a heavily urbanized site the evening before a winter storm event was 1581 µS/cm @25C, and it increased to 3324 µS/cm during the event. In contrast, a less urbanized stream had a specific conductivity of 855 µS/cm @25C the evening before precipitation occurred and it increased to 1022 µS/cm during the event.

Anna M. Starks (Primary Presenter/Author), Indiana University Bloomington, starksam@iu.edu;


Todd V. Royer (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Indiana University Bloomington, troyer@indiana.edu;