Use of deicing materials (road salt) in Vermont has increased in the past decades. Chemical constituents associated with deicing materials can potentially pose a risk to drinking water quality. While deicing materials applied to roads represent a distributed, ephemeral source of salts, deicing material storage facilities are a potential year-round source of materials that can impact drinking water wells. Prior to this project there was no existing spatial database of these facilities in Vermont’s Lake Champlain Basin. A database of deicing material storage facilities was created for this project, with the aim to make it publicly available in order to benefit numerous stakeholders, including the VT Department of Health, VT Department of Environmental Conservation, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and the Vermont Open Geodata Portal, and Vermont Rural Water Association. This report (1) documents the locations and storage methods for municipal, as well as Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) road salt and deicing material storage facilities in the Vermont portion of the Lake Champlain Basin and (2) analyzes these locations with respect to public and private drinking water wells. We also conducted an analysis to identify drinking water wells at parcels and schools hydrologically downgradient of the facilities and explored geospatial methods to evaluate whether these facilities pose a higher risk to vulnerable communities in the Lake Champlain Basin.
Hurley, Stephanie E. and Allen, Dana, "Potential drinking water impacts from road salt storage facilities in Vermont’s Lake Champlain Basin" (2023). Lake Champlain Sea Grant Institute. 13.