Conductivity Level Fluctuations in Spring Creek, Ohio in Response to Road Salt Application

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The Ohio State University

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Road salt (NaCl) application has been increasing every year in the 21st century in Ohio. Spring Creek, a small stream located in northeast Ohio and on the intersection of two major highways, is particularly vulnerable to road salt application. Road salts can lead to negative impacts on humans and aquatic ecosystems by raising conductivity levels. Over the course of the study period, conductivity levels as well as other notable variables such as water and air temperature, and water level were measured and then plotted against each other to characterize a small streams response to raised conductivity levels. Conductivity levels in Spring Creek appeared to be highest in the winter months, having a correlation with air temperature. Conductivity and water temperature decreased as discharge increased, demonstrating that Spring Creek exhibits responsiveness to melting conditions. Results from this study can be used for management plans, regulations, and further communication regarding road salts.



Road Salts, Conductivity, Stream, Ohio