Road salts ends up in the region’s lakes, streams and ground water, according to University of Minnesota professor Heinz Stefan.
His research shows spring melt washes the road salt into the Twin Cities watershed. Measurements show dramatic salt spikes in the spring and early summer in the region’s water bodies.
The harm? Not clear. But the high salt concentrations are not a good thing for a variety of microscopic plants in lakes and streams. The long term effects on ground water may be a bigger, but still unknown risk.
Stefan presented his continuing research at a, “Science Happy Hour, ” at the Aster Cafe on Main Street in Minneapolis, held every month, the second Wednesday.