The Farmington River Watershed Association is partners with The Izaak Walton League of America on their volunteer program Salt Watch for monitoring road salt contamination in local water bodies. Road salt is everywhere during winter months. It keeps us safe on roads and sidewalks, but it can also pose a threat to fish and wildlife as well as human health. FRWA monitors chloride throughout the watershed in CT year-round, including summer months to see the effects for road salt contamination, and to identify any impairments.
With 33 towns in the Farmington River Watershed covering 609 square miles of land in Connecticut and Massachusetts, there is a lot of land to cover. Much of the work we do would not be possible without volunteers. If you decide to volunteer for Salt Watch, remember, safety is far more important than data. If you would like to volunteer for Salt Watch, but would like to check the safety of a site or have a site recommended contacts us by email. View our safety protocol here.
Why is it important to monitor salt pollution in our streams?
Many plants and animals that live in freshwater streams can’t survive in extra salty water and many of us (more than 118 million Americans) depend on local streams for drinking water. Water treatment plants are not equipped to filter out the extra salt, so it can end up in your tap water and even corrode your pipes.
To become a citizen scientist take the Salt Watch Pledge and get your FREE kit visit Salt Watch.
You can also email Paige Vichiola to get a free kit or submit your results.
When you take the Salt Watch Pledge, you will be sent a kit with everything you need to find out whether road salt pollution is a problem in your local stream. Your data will be uploaded using the app Water Reporter or emailed to FRWA and will provide important information on the health of our watershed. You can monitor road salts year-round! FRWA found some locations in the watershed were higher in chloride during summer months and winter storms.
Take action against road salt with these tips from the Salt Watch website.
Visit the River Smart webpage for more resources.
Learn how you can plant or vegetated streamsideto help absorb polluted stormwater and snowmelt, which keeps road salt from flowing directly into streams.