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Road Salt
http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2008/12/23/note_to_seattle_times_driving
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From: mundivagant Date: December 25th, 2008 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
With the volume of salt needed in Seattle (i.e. one week every year), it would take centuries to produce a measurable change to salinity in Puget Sound. The salmon are fine. Mayor Nickels is just a lazy idiot.
gkr From: gkr Date: December 25th, 2008 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's not salinity in the sound that's the problem. It affects a bunch of other things.

People want sacrifices to save the environment, but only if someone else sacrifices.
taowulf From: taowulf Date: December 25th, 2008 08:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am in the group that thinks a week or two of salt or other chemical deicers per winter snowpocolypse at most is not a bad a idea.

But my problem with the Slog's author is that it is not a matter of convience for most Seattle drivers. It is to keep the city city functioning as it must, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 365 days a year. Granted, many have jobs that can be telecommuted to or are not day to day critical, but for those of us that have our danger level greatly increased by incomptent snow management in Seattle and other western Washington cities, it is an economic neccessity to have ice or rut free streets.

wbyonder From: wbyonder Date: December 27th, 2008 09:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Yet they still are sanding the streets which clogs the salmon's breeding grounds worse than salt damages them.

I'm not evangelizing salt as a perfect solution but taking credit for a job well done is asinine.
gkr From: gkr Date: December 27th, 2008 04:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
And you are better qualified than the city to determine if they are doing a good job environmentally?
wbyonder From: wbyonder Date: December 27th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well I've been part of the salmon restoration projects going on in my backyard for about 15 years now. How about you?
gkr From: gkr Date: December 28th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Missed my point (which wasn't very well made admittedly). THere's a lot of factors to consider with regard to how the city clears snow. Cost. Environment. Time. A billion others. None of us are in a position to know how those factors balance against each other, and none of us know the details of how they are dealing with each. For instance, we know they use sand. But how much? And how good are they actually at sweeping it up? We also know that salt is not used. What amount of salt would be required? How much of it would get into the water table? What effect would the amount used have on plants? What effect would it have on lifespan of the road material itself? How about the extra rust damage to the cars?

If you actually know all of these things plus all the other factors involved or even a significant portion of them, your complaints about the city's snow removal process might have some validity. I'm not saying you don't know all this stuff, but I haven't seen it. All I see are people bitching because they are inconvenienced. Haven't seen one complaint based on anything but inconvenience.
wbyonder From: wbyonder Date: December 29th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC) (Link)
While I don't call myself a scientist I do read a lot about it. I've been involved with salmon restoration as it has been literally going on in my backyard for many years now.

The salt runoff would have had an inconsequential effect on the water table. During the damp times of year the water table is already saturated except in areas which well water is a primary water source.

Seattle is not one of those. We get our water from the runoff in the Tolt and Cedar rivers. My concerns have been for the runoff into our salmon breeding grounds. The concentration of salt in these would have a fleeting effect during a time when salmon aren't actually running. The effects of burying the salmon reds in silt is of a far greater concern. Street sweepers just aren't capable of removing the fine silt that will cause the most damage.

If you want to know more with citations please ask.

Edited at 2008-12-29 09:12 am (UTC)
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