Salt runoff from roadways could harm area waterways

The warm temperatures in recent days that are causing the snow to melt and the expected rain are reasons for concern for Miami Valley waterways, officials said Wednesday.

As the snow melts on the roadways, leftover salt and other road treatments that wash into the area waterways may be harmful for rivers and streams.

Studies have shown that chloride levels are rising nationally in groundwater since the 1990s because of road salt, said Mike Ekberg of the Miami Valley Conservancy District.

“It tends to stay down there a lot longer,” he said.

That said, the chloride levels in local water are starting to go down after last week’s storms, although the spike in the Miami Valley aren’t enough to be toxic to aquatic life in the rivers, Ekberg said.

Even so, well owners should test their water regularly, he said.

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