Chloride Levels in Local Waterways
Chloride levels were tested and monitored in several local waterways after the first snow melt. This data shows how the use of street salts during winter can impact local waterways.
Possible Guiding, Compelling and/or Anchoring Questions
- What is happening in the springtime in local waterways?
- Why are the chlorine levels changing in the springtime in local waterways?
Along with the slides above, also utilize the data, found here.
The idea is that students can examine the chloride data and then determine that the values are due to the salt used on the roads during the wintertime. Students can then research the effects of chloride on local ecosystems and then develop a solution to mitigate these effects.
It may be possible in your area to work with local public works departments to examine their salt distribution equipment and make modifications. If this is not possible, models or simulations could be tested by the students in the classroom.
- EPA Waters GeoViewer: This is an interactive map that allows you to examine the water quality of United States waterways.
- Experts seek ways to protect environment from rising road salt runoff: This article discusses how road salt is a problem in nearby Chicago.
- Millions of tons of road salt may have impact on Iowa’s waters: This footage from 2019 in Cedar Rapids is about salt in the water.
- Water Water Everywhere: This lesson is on water; posted by a teacher on the Better Lessons website.
- Test Solution Project: This template outlines how to use HS-LS2-7.
- Wonder of Science HS-LS2-7 Template: This template discusses a possible assessment for HS-LS2-7
Iowa Core Alignment
Submitted by Laura McCreery
Aerial images created using the EPA watermaps.