Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Another hidden cost of sprawl as road salt contaminates streams

Most of us are just starting to face the cost of reparing our sprawling infrastructure, but dozens of other costs still are not widely acknowledged.

From The Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Leftover salt has unsavory outcome for municipalities

"If we brought (the salt) out here, we'd have to cover it with tarps. No matter how well we stored it, we'd probably have less salt by the time next winter rolls around because of water runoff," Getz said, adding that presents environmental concerns because a stream is nearby.

In July, a water-main break beneath a storage area in South Park washed tons of salt into adjacent Peters Creek and killed hundreds of fish.

The township's storage area is an old Pennsylvania Railroad tunnel, about 175 feet long and 20 feet high. Today, it holds about 2,000 tons of salt, which piles to the ceiling through much of the tunnel.

From The Columbus Dispatch:

Road salt is polluting Ohio drinking water

Since 2009, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has found rainwater runoff from road-salt piles fouling public and private wells in five Ohio communities. Though not considered a health threat, the salty taste of drinking water grew so bad that the village of Camden in Preble County had to abandon its wells.

“After you get to a certain level, you can certainly tell there is a change in the taste,” said Melissa Williams, the Preble County health commissioner. “It will corrode your plumbing fixtures, also.”

The issue has Ohio EPA officials dealing with a new type of pollution that’s not specifically covered by environmental law.

1 comment:

ZS said...

John! Thanks so much for coming to the apartment talk. With Love, Zoe