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Piney

U.S. Rivers and Streams Grow Saltier

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Interesting read. I was wondering how the salt etc influences the fish life 

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Interesting read. I was wondering how the salt etc influences the fish life 

Very much so around here.

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Can you elaborate? Rather do u mind elaborating? 

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Can you elaborate? Rather do u mind elaborating? 

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Not a surprising read for me. A very nicely informative one though, excellent. I'm already aware of some of the environmental impacts of salts though. I think a lot of people don't really think about salt beyond what they shake onto their food or scatter over their icy sidewalk.

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Can you elaborate? Rather do u mind elaborating? 

Big fish kills at bridge dams right after they spray the roads with brine and it rains happen often around here.

I never trusted road brine. I thought the brine was what was killing off the frogs back in the nineties but it turned out to be something else.

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Given the amount of road salt typically dumped in the Northeast, I'm not surprised for the results in that area.

"Of 232 sites, statistically increasing trends were observed at 66% of sites for pH, 39% of sites for specific conductance, 34% of sites for sodium, 29% for calcium, 33% for magnesium, and 36% for potassium concentrations."

I guess the interesting part is that the fairly vast majority of sites are not, in fact, increasing in salinity. I would've expected more.

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What is interesting is the area with the highest concentration shown has generally sparse population where really high population areas have far less. That would indicate it isn't just average human practices causing it but rather specific ones such as road salt or fracking or some industry, yet other fracking/industrial areas with milder climates don't show as dramatic an increase. That would be a lot of road salt, which I believe Montana at least does use, but I have no idea on the Dakotas and Canada . I might suspect something geologic from the caldera perhaps south west of that area? Perhaps everyone is eating a bit too much jerky over the long winter?

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1 minute ago, BorizBadinov said:

What is interesting is the area with the highest concentration shown has generally sparse population where really high population areas have far less. That would indicate it isn't just average human practices causing it but rather specific ones such as road salt or fracking or some industry, yet other fracking/industrial areas with milder climates don't show as dramatic an increase. That would be a lot of road salt, which I believe Montana at least does use, but I have no idea on the Dakotas and Canada . I might suspect something geologic from the caldera perhaps south west of that area? Perhaps everyone is eating a bit too much jerky over the long winter?

They spray more brine around here on country roads than over in the burbs.

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Posted (edited)

21 minutes ago, Piney said:

They spray more brine around here on country roads than over in the burbs.

I suppose that could account for it but I would have suspected more color in your area to match since you are surrounded by ocean salinity as well.

I first thought I was going to see reservoirs here contributing to salinity since this is a high alkaline area already and on the other side of the mountains, but it appears not to be a factor. 

edit: forgot to add we only used sand for road maintenance on the Idaho side. 

Edited by BorizBadinov
because I forget stuff
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4 minutes ago, BorizBadinov said:

I suppose that could account for it but I would have suspected more color in your area to match since you are surrounded by ocean salinity as well.

I first thought I was going to see reservoirs here contributing to salinity since this is a high alkaline area already and on the other side of the mountains, but it appears not to be a factor. 

edit: forgot to add we only used sand for road maintenance on the Idaho side. 

The sea has been rising pretty quick here and brackish water is coming further inland. We're watching the white cedars die off on the coast.

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Just now, Piney said:

The sea has been rising pretty quick here and brackish water is coming further inland. We're watching the white cedars die off on the coast.

:(

 

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5 hours ago, Piney said:

Big fish kills at bridge dams right after they spray the roads with brine and it rains happen often around here.

I never trusted road brine. I thought the brine was what was killing off the frogs back in the nineties but it turned out to be something else.

I have observed tree kills along county roads in Boulder County, Colorado following use of road salt.  The effect is more subtle in the ast, but it's still there.

Doug

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When dry land is irrigated, the salts in the soil become concentrated in the upper layers.  To get rid of the salt, farmers flush it out of the soil profile with huge quantities of fresh water.  This pushes the salt water deeper into the soil profile from whence it eventually finds its way to streams.  Some fields are equipped with sub-surface drains to accomplish this fatser.

The next farmer downstream takes this now-slightly-saltier water and does then same thing, thus concentrating the salt as it moves downstream.  So it's no wonder that streams are getting saltier.

Doug

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6 hours ago, Doug1o29 said:

When dry land is irrigated, the salts in the soil become concentrated in the upper layers.  To get rid of the salt, farmers flush it out of the soil profile with huge quantities of fresh water.  This pushes the salt water deeper into the soil profile from whence it eventually finds its way to streams.  Some fields are equipped with sub-surface drains to accomplish this fatser.

The next farmer downstream takes this now-slightly-saltier water and does then same thing, thus concentrating the salt as it moves downstream.  So it's no wonder that streams are getting saltier.

Doug

But the salts run off of the roads and they don't do that around here.

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14 hours ago, Piney said:

But the salts run off of the roads and they don't do that around here.

Salt from the roads goes into the ditch and from there into the streams, along with all the mud and sand washing off the road.

Doug

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Yep. Again...predicted. 

But it doesn't matter.

No one who could do anything about it gives a crap. 

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3 hours ago, ChaosRose said:

No one who could do anything about it gives a crap. 

But they will reap what they sow.

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