(Durham, NH) - The researchers estimate that more than 10 per cent of the streams in the Merrimack River watershed in NH and Massachusetts are impacted by high chlorine concentrations because of the road salt applied during the winter months.

Credit: Army Corps of Engineers, New England Division
Merrimack River         Credit: Army Corps of Engineers, New England Division
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According to the UNH study, the salt concentrations are the highest in summer, raising concerns about harm to freshwater plants, invertebrates, amphibians and fish.

The salt applied to the roadways in winter dissolves and enters groundwater and drains into rivers.

Credit: Flickr Creative Commons
Credit: Flickr Creative Commons
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The research shows that the proportion of all streams that are impacted changes from year to year based on the given years weather.