Salt, the Solution to Winter's Dangers, Threatens US Waters

In this Jan. 3, 2018 file photo, road salt is loaded into trucks at Eastern Minerals Inc., in the Boston suburb of Chelsea, Mass. Photo: AP/ Bill Sikes
In this Jan. 3, 2018 file photo, road salt is loaded into trucks at Eastern Minerals Inc., in the Boston suburb of Chelsea, Mass.

January 29, 2018 05:35 AM

Truckloads of road salt used to keep highways ice-free in the winter are starting to take a toll on the environment.

Researchers say they're finding rising salt levels in hundreds of lakes, especially in the Northeast and Midwest where sodium chloride is used most. The findings are raising fears that salting roads could put everything from microscopic zooplankton to fish at risk in coming decades.

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RELATED: Minnesota Waters Deal with Excess Chloride from Road Salt

The environmental concerns - and a desire to reduce costs - have prompted public works agencies in many states and cities to search for ways to cut their salt use.

They have turned to high-tech equipment to spread salt more efficiently and better weather forecasting to time their salting. Others are using liquefied organic additives such as beet juice and even cheese brine that help salt stick to pavement.

Credits

The Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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