Road salt is pervasively used throughout Canada and in other cold regions during winter. For cities relying exclusively on groundwater, it is important to plan and minimize the application of salt accordingly to mitigate the adverse effects of high chloride concentrations in water supply aquifers. The use of geospatial data (road network, land use, Quaternary and bedrock geology, average annual recharge, water-table depth, soil distribution, topography) in the DRASTIC methodology provides an efficient way of distinguishing salt-vulnerable areas associated with groundwater supply wells, to aid in the implementation of appropriate management practices for road salt application in urban areas. This research presents a GIS-based methodology to accomplish a vulnerability analysis for 12 municipal water supply wells within the City of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. The chloride application density (CAD) value at each supply well is calculated and related to the measured groundwater chloride concentrations and further combined with soil media and aquifer vadose- and saturated-zone properties used in DRASTIC. This combined approach, CAD-DRASTIC, is more accurate than existing groundwater vulnerability mapping methods and can be used by municipalities and other water managers to further improve groundwater protection related to road salt application.
Hydrogeology Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 1, 2018