Road Salt Pollution
Destroying our water, every winter.
Dried Salt Pollution
The salt that we throw on the road to stop icy roads and sidewalks, combines with water and is carried around the road. The salt then dries up onto our roads leaving a white residue on the road. This then goes into water system underground and corrupts it. This causes saltier tasting water and it also puts chlorine into our water. Although this is usually filtered out by water filters.
Wet Salt Pollution
Since sodium chloride (road salt) is soluble with water, it combines and flows into our sewer system. All that water in the sewer system has to go somewhere. The water gets dumped into our ocean. Flooding it into our oceans filling it with road salts.
Where has this problem occured?
This problem has occurred worldwide where there is winter, as almost every country uses road salt to get rid of ice. Although this mainly effects Canada as we have one of the most harshest winters in the entire world. And we also have a lot of roads as Canada is very expansive.
Who has this impacted?
Road salt has impacted almost every type of terrestrial on earth. It harms humans because road salt is toxic if ingested, and if it is in our water system, we drink it. It kills sea animals for several reasons. It reduces oxygen in lower levels of the ocean. It reduces survival for several crustaceans. It also disrupts the water flow through ocean animals as it can clog up their throats and cause them to die. It kills land animals and air animals as well. It effects deers as their attracted to dry road salt crystals on roads, causing them to be roadkill more often.
How is it being cleaned?
Several ingredients are being mixed in with road salt to help reduce the amount of chloride spread. These ingredients include but are not limited to: Beet Juice, Cheese brine and sugarcane mollasses. These are natural ice melters and work along with the chloride in the salt. Otherwise their has been no effort to help clean up Road Salt Pollution.
How can this be prevented?
We can prevent this pollution from happening if we use an alternative of road salt. For example, we can use sand, ashes, kitty litter, etc. Also that if we use less of road salt than we usually do, we can stop this pollution from happening and less harm to the environment. Although this may not be very practical, it is one of the only ways to help our enviroment. We cannot just stop using road salt as it saves lives everyday and if we were to stop, it would cause accidents and more.