NepRWA scientists place continuous loggers in Watershed streams each November to measure the salinity of the water as we enter winter and road salting season.

The loggers track salt levels from road salt to measure how much salt is making its way into the streams.

Once NepRWA has the data from the loggers, we can determine how much salt is getting into our streams during winter storms, and how much that saltiness may be hurting wildlife.

Those 15 minute readings can be turned into concentrations of chloride (a component of both road and table salt), using a formula developed by MassDEP. MassDEP also sets strict guidelines about how much chloride is allowed in streams to protect sensitive species like trout and amphibians.

After NepRWA has analyzed the data, we work with our local towns and MassDEP to identify problem areas and advocate for reduced salting, smarter salt application, or salt alternatives like brine or beet juice, where salt levels are too high.

We also work with partners across the state to identify high levels of chloride as a growing concern with changing weather patterns.

Continuous loggers are devices that take a water reading every 15 minutes, rather than having someone collect a water sample. This gives us more information about how the water quality changes through time and especially allows us to see shifts due to rain or runoff.

Help keep salt out of our waterways!

Learn about greener ice melt and alternatives.