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Snow-Covered Nation's Salt Is Seeping Into Groundwater

04/03/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

March 3, 2009 -- Salt does a great job of melting ice on frozen winter roads. But most road salt ends up in lakes, streams and groundwater, where it threatens the health of aquatic organisms, according to new research.

The study focused on salt applied to roads around Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. But the same is probably true in other icy places, said lead researcher Heinz Stefan, a water resources engineer at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. The work highlights the fine balance that often needs to be struck between human safety and the environment.

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