Salted Roads Could Have Negative Affect on Plant Life

6 years 10 months 4 days ago Friday, February 01 2013 Feb 1, 2013 Friday, February 01, 2013 2:22:00 PM CST February 01, 2013 in 8 Goes Green
By: Danielle Carter
loading

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
FULTON - The 71st annual Christmas parade took over the streets of Fulton on Saturday afternoon. This year's theme... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:40:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Road signs honoring five Boone County veterans killed in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan were revealed Saturday. ... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:36:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY — One person was transported to the hospital Friday night after being ejected from their vehicle. The... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 3:17:00 PM CST December 07, 2019 in News
TIPTON — A shooting suspect is in the hospital after authorities shot him five times, according to a news release... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 8:50:00 AM CST December 07, 2019 in News
FULTON - Police are investigating after shots were fired at a Break Time in Fulton Friday night. According to... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 07 2019 Dec 7, 2019 Saturday, December 07, 2019 1:25:00 AM CST December 07, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - MU spokesman Christian Basi, confirmed the man who died after being hit by a car on College Ave... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 9:34:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Central Missouri Humane Society is waiving adoption fees this weekend, just in time for the holiday season.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 6:36:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
MISSOURI - Missouri’s minimum wage rate is set to go up again soon. The state minimum wage will increase... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 5:21:41 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson are inviting families to join them at the Governor's... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:50:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
BOONEVILLE - The Cooper County Sheriff's Office is asking travelers to find an alternate route on Highway 41 going to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 3:02:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Columbia police chief Ken Burton has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor after originally being charged with driving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:45:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
HALLSVILLE - Kari Hallowell, the mother of 17-year-old Hayden Holt, who died in an overnight car crash after being chased... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 2:04:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP)- Two U.S. officials have identified the shooter at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola as a second... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 1:53:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - This weekend, 47 high school basketball teams from five states will go head-to-head in the 2019 Norm Stewart... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 1:24:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- Former MU Quarterback Drew Lock is set to make his second start with the Denver Broncos this Sunday versus... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 12:28:00 PM CST December 06, 2019 in Sports
BOONE COUNTY- A 52-year-old male suffered two gunshot wounds Thursday night after getting into a fight with two people at... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 10:53:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
RICH HILL- Relatives of a missing Missouri mother say they are growing increasingly concerned after deputies found the woman's phone,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 10:22:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol confirmed Hayden Holt, a 17-year-old from Hallsville, died in an overnight car crash... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 Friday, December 06, 2019 6:41:00 AM CST December 06, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 37°
7am 38°
8am 41°
9am 43°
10am 45°