Salted Roads Could Have Negative Affect on Plant Life

3 years 10 months 1 week ago February 01, 2013 Feb 1, 2013 Friday, February 01 2013 Friday, February 01, 2013 2:22:00 PM CST in 8 Goes Green
By: Danielle Carter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - The Missouri Department of Conservation is warning mid-Missourians about the dangers to plant life when using salt and salt compounds to de-ice roads.

Angela Belden, resource forester for the department, said even though this winter has been mild and not much salt has been placed on roadways, salt buildup over the years can still cause issues.

"It affects the soil in that it kind of clogs those empty spaces between the soil particles so that water can't infiltrate, and it just kind of makes sort of a crust so water can't get down into the roots," Belden said.

However, there are alternatives to salt and other salt compounds, and though they may be more expensive, Belden said many areas still use them.

"I think it is an environmental issue," said Belden. "A lot of places use sand, also, or they'll use a combination of something with grit and the salt, so they're not throwing out as much salt."

Steve Sapp of Columbia Public Works said in the past few years, Columbia has switched from using fly ash and salt to salt compounds, brine, gravel, and even beet juice as more environmentally-friendly alternatives.

At the city's Walter Leroy Anderson Salt Facility, a storage area two stories tall is full of ash to use in special circumstances. Sapp said the ash is still used for when traction is needed on an icy road--not to actually get rid of the ice. He said the city eliminated ash as a mainstream option for both cleanliness and environmental reasons, since the ash runoff into streams can cause issues for water and wildlife.

In addition, a dome-like structure houses salt, and other machines dispense brine and calcium chloride, other compounds used to treat icy roads.

Sapp said that the city monitors conditions closely in order to determine which method to use.

"We subscribe to a private weather forecaster that really watches just the Columbia, Boone County area really closely for us and talks to us about precipitation. We monitor road temperatures...and then we look at what kind of precipitation precedes the frozen precipitation," Sapp said. "We've had a lot of rain over the past couple days, so pre-treating with the calcium chloride or with a salt brine solution, or with the beet juice would've simply washed away, so it wouldn't have done any good."

Sapp said the ice doesn't just affect roads and highways--it can affect runways, too. The Columbia Regional Airport may have had to shut down a couple times this year had it not been for some salt alternatives used to clear the runway.

"We're using a new chemical on the runways now for de-icing and pre-treatment agent that will take the melting temperature down to about five degrees above zero," Sapp said. "We're using a very stiff broom that brooms the snow and ice off the runway. It doesn't compact it and make it slick," said Sapp.

All in all, Sapp said there is no perfect fix to de-icing roads.

"There's no real magic solution to all this. It's just how do we treat our roads to make sure that they're safe and passable," said Sapp.

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA — In late October, an outbreak of canine distemper forced a St. Louis animal shelter to euthanize 17 dogs.... More >>
44 minutes ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 7:31:20 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS - The City of Columbia did not violate residents First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by allowing a student... More >>
1 hour ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 6:18:00 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis lawyer has been named chairman of the University of Missouri board of cur... More >>
4 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 3:45:04 PM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police said a man impersonating a police officer tried to pull over the wrong... More >>
6 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 1:30:00 PM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Southwest Missouri authorities have charged a man with raping a woman nearly a year after he was... More >>
8 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 12:05:10 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Arthritis Foundation in Missouri is set to raise $40,000. Since August, supporters have signed... More >>
8 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 12:05:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA (AP) — The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said a proposed medical radioactive isotope plant in Columbia would have little... More >>
9 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 11:09:26 AM CST in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - The Holts Summit Lions Club is hosting the second annual Christmas Festival Saturday before the start of... More >>
15 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 4:42:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Overuse injuries appear to be growing increasing common in youth sports. According to a 2015 study by the... More >>
15 hours ago December 10, 2016 Dec 10, 2016 Saturday, December 10 2016 Saturday, December 10, 2016 4:25:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's outgoing Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon is giving clemency to 15 people convicted of drug-related crimes... More >>
23 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:50:05 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A former director of Missouri's unemployment benefits agency has agreed to a $2 million settlement to... More >>
23 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:36:46 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A woman assaulted as a girl during a 1982 attack that killed her mother wants... More >>
23 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:27:25 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway said she's reviewing state legal payments following reports of harassment and employee... More >>
23 hours ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 8:16:29 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will work as a private attorney at a suburban St. Louis law... More >>
1 day ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 7:58:34 PM CST in News
SIKESTON (AP) — Police are investigating the shooting death of a high school student in southeast Missouri. KFVS-TV reports... More >>
1 day ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 7:52:30 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - In an effort to increase access to healthy food choices, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced new standards... More >>
1 day ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 7:01:00 PM CST in News
BOONE COUNTY - A fire forced a family to evacuate its Boone County home Friday afternoon. Firefighters responded to... More >>
1 day ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 5:17:00 PM CST in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Prosecutors charged a Holts Summit man with multiple felonies Friday in connection to a domestic dispute. ... More >>
1 day ago December 09, 2016 Dec 9, 2016 Friday, December 09 2016 Friday, December 09, 2016 4:52:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 35°
9pm 34°
10pm 34°
11pm 33°
12am 33°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00p
The Voice
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld