Salt and water don’t mix



Leo Hickman on the Guardian website posts about the effect on rivers, streams and lakes of road salting.

When you put salt on roads, eventually that salt washes into streams and rivers, and sometimes ponds too – at least those ponds unlucky enough to be connected to the drains that receive the polluting cocktail of chemicals that is ‘road runoff’.

Too much salt is bad for many freshwater animals and plants because freshwater is supposed to be just that – fresh. And this applies to amphibians too, although at least in America, where most research has been done, species vary in their sensitivity to salt.

Luckily, UK frogs, toads and newts generally steer clear of the rivers and streams that are most exposed to salty road runoff – which is perhaps fortunate considering all the other things we are throwing at these animals.

But the inhabitants of our stream and rivers may not be so lucky as we add yet another pollutant to our already stressed water environment.


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