Apr 12, 2017
By Michael Kramer
And there’s a dire prediction that thousands of lakes will contain too much salt to sustain their current levels of aquatic life – if current road salt trends continue over the next 50 years.
Researchers studied 371 North American lakes, including nine in Ontario – as they tracked changes in chloride levels over several years.
They found lakes near roadways covered in salt during bad weather recorded significantly higher chloride concentrations – which brought them closer to the upper limits of the EPA’s legal pollution standard – for chloride in freshwater.
Here in Ontario, Lake Simcoe’s chloride levels have climbed five-fold in the past 10 to 20 years – while lakes in the less urbanized northwest region of the province have stayed relatively stable – and well below the EPA’s threshold of 230 millilitres of chloride per litre of water.