Salinity Transport in an Urban Bioretention Basin due to Winter Storm De-Icing Salt Applications
The following research was conducted to investigate the presence and transport of salinity in bioretention systems in response to various types of winter precipitation and de-icing salt applications to roadways and sidewalks in its watershed. The research was performed for a bioretention basin in the city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, from December 2020 to March 2021. In this period, there were multiple snow and wintry precipitation storm events and three roughly quantified de-icing salt applications to the nearby roadway and sidewalk.
The soil salinity was measured using Meter Group’s TEROS 12 soil sensors and the incoming water salinity using Solinist Levelogger 5 flow meters. The data analysis indicated snow and cold temperatures did not have a significant effect on the response of salinity levels in the top 8 inches of the bioretention soil. Precipitation in the form of rain had a significant effect on the salinity readings in the soil, and in the presence of de-icing salt loadings, the concentration of salinity in the bioretention soil was shown to increase substantially. The salinity concentrations in the soil and flow increased after every de-icing salt application. The response time of salinity concentrations in the soil after rain events generally decreased as the rain intensity increased. Soil salinity measurements have taken at least 57 days after the end of the last recorded salt application to decrease to baseline concentrations, which were recorded at the beginning of the study.
This research and analysis spans only from December 2020 to March 2021, but the research is expected to be continued as a multi-year project conducted by numerous Penn State faculty and students. The goal is to expand upon the knowledge about the health of urban bioretention systems in the presence of seasonal influences.
|Salinity Transport in an Urban Bioretention Basin due to Winter Storm De-Icing Salt Applications
|In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
|December 13, 2021
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