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Road Salt

The Threat

The streams, rivers, and lakes in the Ausable watershed are freshwater ecosystems that naturally contain very low amounts of sodium and chloride. The application of road salt, primarily sodium chloride, to roads during winter results in a signficant amount of this pollutant entering our local waterways. Some of our waterbodies, such as Mirror Lake and the Cascade Lakes, have chloride levels greater than 160-times that of lakes not impacted by road salt. 

AsRA's Response

The Ausable River Assocation (AsRA) participates in conferences and other regional discussions involving town supervisors, NY Department of Transportation officials, non-profits, researchers, and residents. An inclusive, ongoing dialogue about reducing the impacts of winter road deicing, while allowing for safe driving, is essential to addressing this problem. AsRA has partnered with the Adirondack Watershed Institute to install two long-term monitoring stations on the Chubb River to track sodium and chloride levels. Theses stations will help us understand the movement of sodium and chloride through the Village of Lake Placid and into the waterways that surround it and will gauge the effectiveness of alternative management practices. Finally, AsRA regularly monitors chloride levels in the river, and its tributaries, on a bi-weekly basis. The map above shows the locations we monitor. Click on the points to see current and past chloride concentrations.

What You Can Do

  • Reduce the use of road salt at your home, office, and place of business.
  • Discuss your concerns with your town, county, and state representatives in person, by writing letter, or by attending public meetings.
  • Stay informed by signing up for AsRA's e-newsletter at the bottom of the page. 
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