Chlorides & Winter Deicing
Welcome to the Chlorides & Winter Deicing Page! What's the big deal about road salt anyway? Well, chlorides are harmful to aquatic life, the fish & bugs that live in the DuPage River and its tributaries. Road salt is the largest source of chlorides in the winter months when we see the highest levels of chlorides in the streams. Once chlorides are in the water you can't get them out short of reverse osmosis, so we see levels of chlorides persist into the spring and summer months when most aquatic critters are trying to breed.
Road salt has been used for a long time, why all the fuss now? Well over the last several decades we have seen
the suburbs grow which resulted in more roads and parking lots. Public expectations have also changed and people want to see clean streets before the storm even ends. Road salt was cheap and we have increasingly used more and more of it. That has resulted in more and more exceedances of the state water quality standard for chlorides set at 500 mg/L. Both Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the US Environmental Protection Agency are looking harder at chloride levels and what can be done to reduce the amount of chlorides in our streams.
The Coalition has partnered with other organizations like the DuPage River Salt Creek Workgroup (DRSCW) to develop outreach programs to promote and expand the use of best management practices related to winter deicing operations. One of the ways we accomplish this is through annual workshops for public works staff, public agencies and private operators to learn about BMPs and share knowledge and ideas.
Don't miss our upcoming 2016 Winter Chlorides Workshops:
September 22nd Parking Lots & Sidewalks Certification Flyer
October 4th Public Roads Workshop Flyer
Here is a link to the presentations from the 2015 Winter Deicing Workshop held on October 15, 2015 in Romeoville