West Bend Area Road Salt Study

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1986 - 1991

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  • Marianna Sucht, DNR

Chlorides in groundwater are of concern to private well owners.  There is no health-related drinking water standard for chloride.  However, chloride present in concentrations above 250 milligrams per liter (250 mg/l) impart a salty taste to drinking water and make it undesirable for consumption.

A study was undertaken at three sites in southeastern Wisconsin to determine the effects of road salt application on the concentration of chloride in groundwater.  Additional parameters were analyzed to determine whether concentrations of other groundwater constituents might correlate to the chloride concentration.  Several different geological settings were selected to ascertain the movement of road salt through each.

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