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Dangerously Salty Fresh Water? It Is Happening.

There is no denying the urban sprawl in America is spreading. Researchers found startling data in freshwater lakes of the Northern United Sates. Too many chlorides in salt can do damage to many areas of life, from killing off plants and trees or stunting reproduction of beneficial animal to environmental catastrophes like Flint, Michigan. Researchers determined that,

““The good news is that we can always improve water quality,” Dugan says. Unlike phosphorus or other pollutants that can lurk in sediments in a lakebed for long periods of time, chlorides stay in the water column, and can gradually be flushed out of a lake as new water enters the lake. “If you improve the water going into a lake you have the potential to freshen the lake,” Dugan says.”

This can happen as we reduce the amount of chlorides that every salt user emits.

This article was published in Popular Science and can be found here, http://www.popsci.com/lakes-are-getting-saltier#page-2

Quote from the original study, “In lakes, chloride is a relatively benign ion at low concentrations but begins to have ecological impacts as concentrations rise into the 100s and 1,000s of mg L−1. In this study, we investigate long-term chloride trends in 371 freshwater lakes in North America. We find that in Midwest and Northeast North America, most urban lakes and rural lakes that are surrounded by >1% impervious land cover show increasing chloride trends. Expanding on this finding, thousands of lakes in these regions are at risk of long-term salinization. Keeping lakes “fresh” is critically important for protecting the ecosystem services freshwater lakes provide, such as drinking water, fisheries, recreation, irrigation, and aquatic habitat.”

The original study “Salting our freshwater lakes” can be found here, http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2017/04/04/1620211114


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