Stormwater is generally considered a spring and summer concern, but more and more research suggests that stormwater liability can be created by snowmelt, especially in cold-weather climates. This is a brief primer in winter stormwater risks.
Environmental Liability Risks of Winter Stormwater
One of the most obvious winter stormwater risks, both for municipalities and businesses, is caused by road salting. The risks are only increased in areas with an above-average number of cold months. The Government of Canada has even recommended the inclusion of chloride as a toxic substance because of its deleterious impact on ground and surface waters.
Recent data collected at the University of Minnesota found extremely high levels of sodium, chloride, and even cyanide in runoff from sites where salt was stored and handled.
Groundwater Impacts of Winter Stormwater
Sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl) are considered the greatest threat affecting groundwater during winter months. First, these two chemicals displace Ca and Mg and disrupt the structure of the soil, leading to erosion. Then the chloride lowers the pH and dissolves heavy metals trapped in the soil, releasing them into bodies of ground and surface water.
See how T-Environmental Reduces Liability and Saves Money
T-Environmental specializes in providing companies with cost-effective environmental compliance to reduce the risk of civil and criminal penalties.
As a part of our SWEPE Stormwater System, our team will investigate your site, determine your compliance needs and recommend a cost effective solution to bring your site into compliance with all applicable stormwater regulations.
Because environmental regulations change frequently and staying compliant can become a real burden, we are often contracted to monitor our clients’ sites to ensure ongoing compliance.