• Riverwatch Chloride Monitoring
  • Chloride Monitoring

    Across Illinois, salt is commonly spread on roads during the winter to prevent the build-up of snow and ice. The salt dissolves in the melt water and travels into streams and groundwater, increasing the concentration of chloride (one of the main components in the salt) in local waterways.  The large amounts of salt spread on roads in urban and suburban areas can lead to concentrations that are toxic to many fish and invertebrates.

    In the State of Illinois, 475 stream miles were listed as “impaired” in 2018 due to chloride. This means that these streams do not meet water quality standards. A recent study by RiverWatch Director Danelle Haake and several citizen scientists in the St. Louis area found that the winter concentrations of chloride were often unsafe for aquatic animals in watersheds where roads covered at least 5% of the land area.

    The Illinois RiverWatch Network is working to increase the amount of chloride data available in Illinois. You can explore the data that have been collected so far by visiting the Winter Chloride Watchers. If you are interested in participating in this project, reach out to the RiverWatch staff at riverwatch@lc.edu.

  • Contact

    Danelle Haake, RiverWatch Director and Stream Ecologist
    NGRREC/L&C

    One Confluence Way
    East Alton, IL 62024

    dhaake@lc.edu
    Phone: (618)468-2784
    Fax: (618)468-2899

    Hannah Griffis, Riverwatch Technician and Volunteer Coordinator
    NGRREC/L&C

    One Confluence Way
    East Alton, IL 62024

    hgriffis@lc.edu
    Phone: (618) 468-2781
    Fax: (618) 468-2899

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