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Environment & Energy

Road Salt is Having an Impact on Local Ecosystems

A Kent State University geology professor says the road salts are having an impact on our local ecosystems.

Dr. Anne Jefferson studies watershed hydrology in human-altered landscapes. Her research group has been looking at the issue over the past five and has found that the amount of chloride in ground water has increased. 

Jefferson says researchers are looking for safer alternatives to de-ice the roads.           

“People are also investigating newer alternatives to salt. So there’s a lot of interest right now in things like beet juice, where the sugars in the beet juice actually act like a de-icer rather than it being a salt. Pickle brine has got some buzz associated with it. So that also has salt, but the sugars associated with the pickles are also helping.”

She also suggests it’s important to keep in mind on how much salt is used on the roads.