SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM IMPACTS OF ROAD SALTING ON WATER QUALITY IN FRACTURED CRYSTALLINE BEDROCK
This study uses specific conductance profiles (as a surrogate for chloride) from 2003-2016 to quantify the short-term and long-term impacts of salting on water quality in a crystalline bedrock well at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. The average specific conductance in the upper flow zone increased from 270 μS/cm in 2003 to 1558 μS/cm in 2016. In the lower flow zone, specific conductance increased from 316 μS/cm in 2003 to 1106 μS/cm in 2016. In all cases specific conductance increased over time despite varying salt volume application, suggesting that concentrations may be cumulative. Continuous specific conductance measurements were also collected hourly from March 2014-October 2014 in the upper and lower flow zones to identify daily and monthly impacts of the spring snowmelt and precipitation events. The time-series shows a four-month lag in increasing specific conductance following water level rise. A temporary increase in specific conductance is observed following large precipitation events (> 2.3 cm) throughout the year, indicating that chloride is transported through bedrock aquifers for months following the final salt application of the season.