Road Salt and Groundwater

Episode 40, 2/22/22

Road Salt and Groundwater

As research currently underway at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is uncovering, increased levels of chloride from road salt can persist in surface waters even in summer—when no salt is being applied—because it appears to be stored in groundwater.

A study titled, “Mass Discharge of Road Salt via Groundwater to Surface Waters in Southeastern Wisconsin,” is investigating two sites in Racine County along the Root River: one is urban, the other rural. Led by Assistant Professor Charles Paradis, this work is being funded by the University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute in its 2021-2023 cycle.

Charles Paradis. (Submitted photo)

One of two study sites along the Root River, pictured in the summertime. (Submitted photo)

UW-Milwaukee undergraduate Dylan Childs prepares water samples for analysis in the lab. (Submitted photo)

Thanks to our guests

Charles Paradis – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Dylan Childs – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Leah Dechant – University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (background information)


Marie Zhuikov | Host

Senior Science Communicator

What I do at Sea Grant

Marie writes about Great Lakes water issues, Sea Grant activities and research. She also works on podcasts, oversees the Wisconsin Sea Grant blog, and takes photos. She works in collaboration with program scientists, outreach specialists and institute staff to build water science literacy. Prior to joining Wisconsin Sea Grant in 2012, Marie worked for Minnesota Sea Grant for 15 years.