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Effectiveness of highway-drainage systems in preventing road-salt contamination of ground water, southeastern Massachusetts

Fact Sheet 115-96

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Abstract

Road-salt contamination of public and private water supplies has become a serious and costly problem, particularly in the Northeast and Midwest. For example, reports of road-salt contamination from 100 of the 351 municipalities in Massachusetts from 1983 through 1990 required an expenditure of about 2.5 million dollar to investigate and remediate. Nationally, an estimated 10 million dollar are spent annual ly by State and local governments to prevent and remediate road-salt contamination. One method used by State highway agencies to reduce road- salt contamination of public-water supplies is to divert the salt-laden highway runoff through drainage systems from section of highway that pass near public-water supplies to less sensitive areas. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Massachusetts Highway Department (MHO), has conducted an investigation of the relative effectiveness of four highway-drainage systems in preventing road-salt contamination of ground water. This fact sheet describes the highway-drainage systems tested, the general hydrogeology of the study area, and the methods used to evaluate the drainage systems; and presents preliminary findings of the effectiveness of the systems in preventing road-salt contamination of ground water. These findings are based on data collected from November 1990 through May 1992. The re ult of this investigation will have wider application than just in the snow-belt regions of the United States, Canada, and Europe, as other contaminants in highway runoff either can be diverted from sensitive areas by drainage systems or allowed to seep into the ground, potentially contaminating ground water.

Geospatial Extents

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Effectiveness of highway-drainage systems in preventing road-salt contamination of ground water, southeastern Massachusetts
Series title:
Fact Sheet
Series number:
115-96
Year Published:
1996
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Description:
4 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Massachusetts
Other Geospatial:
Buttermilk Bay
Scale:
25000