Salted Roads Could Have Negative Affect on Plant Life

3 years 5 months 3 weeks 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

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
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Former Missouri House Speaker Catherine Hanaway is touting her experience as a former U.S. attorney in... More >>
1 hour ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 4:16:44 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A judge has rejected conspiracy allegations against Missouri State Highway Patrol commanders named in a... More >>
1 hour ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:42:52 PM CDT in News
JOPLIN (AP) — A 53-year-old southwest Missouri man has been ordered to stand trial in the death of a 61-year-old... More >>
2 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:10:16 PM CDT in News
MOBERLY - After four straight days with water boil advisory warnings, Moberly residents could see a solution to their water... More >>
2 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:03:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a St. Louis woman with arranging the deaths of two 16-year-old boys who... More >>
2 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:39:16 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri election officials are predicting 31 percent of registered voters will cast ballots in next Tuesday's... More >>
2 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:31:02 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine is seeking to rally support in Missouri, where he attended... More >>
2 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:25:11 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The executive director of the Missouri Veteran's Commission, Larry Kay, was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday. The... More >>
3 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 2:09:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia resident Beth Dixon and her team of volunteers finished preparing care bags for local law enforcement Thursday... More >>
3 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 1:39:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The owner of Columbia's Bocomo Bay retail store pleaded guilty Thursday for his role in conspiring to distribute... More >>
4 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 12:43:00 PM CDT in News
SCOTT CITY (AP) — A southeast Missouri man is facing charges after one of his stepchildren shot video that allegedly... More >>
8 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 8:44:05 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities are investigating after a woman was found dead inside a Kansas City apartment. Police... More >>
8 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 8:18:46 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Relatives of a man badly burned after his SUV was hit by a car being chased... More >>
9 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 7:44:46 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The owner of Sweetie Pie's restaurants in the St. Louis area is suing her son, alleging... More >>
9 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 7:32:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A suburban Kansas City man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after a house... More >>
10 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 6:50:49 AM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Thursday marks the eighth Project Homeless Connect event hosted by the City of Columbia's Community Development Department. ... More >>
14 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:13:00 AM CDT in News
FULTON - A new outdoor activity has been bringing out Missourians to look for hidden rocks since the start of... More >>
17 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:58:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - One person died after a shooting at Allen Street and LaSalle Place, The shooting took place just before... More >>
17 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:37:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 87°
6pm 87°
7pm 86°
8pm 82°
9pm 78°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
8:00p
Hollywood Game Night
9:00p
NBC News Special: 2016 Democratic National Convention
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Beauty and the Beast
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld