Salt Dome Picture

Road Salt Evaluations

What is it?

Salt investigations conducted by Azimuth have included assessments of road salt related impacts to both commercial and residential ground water sources. Typically investigations are conducted in response to ground water users making a claim to the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) when they feel their well has been impacted by the addition of road salt on a neighbouring roadway, however similar investigations have been completed for Townships. As part of the investigation, Azimuth conducts a site visit which includes an assessment of the hydrogeological conditions at the site based on such things as surficial soils, topography, hydrology, hydrogeology and local geology. In addition, a water sample and / or a pump test is conducted to assess the current ground water quality and hydraulic properties of the well / aquifer. Once this field data has been collected a more thorough review is completed using additional information such as well records and the resulting geochemical data. From all of this information, it is determined whether the source of the claimant's issues is anthropogenic (addition of road salt), natural (brackish water) or a combination of the two. In the event road salt is found to be the issue, solutions such as treatment, well rehabilitation or construction of a new well may be suggested to the client. In some instances, the client requires the collection of baseline data as part of future road re-alignment projects. As such, similar site investigations are conducted to collect pre-construction data. These investigations are conducted in a similar manor as those described above, however the data is only reviewed in the event a claim is made in the future.

Who asks for one/needs one?

Salt investigations are typically required by the MTO, however, at times municipalities request pre-construction monitoring such that they can determine background ground water quality in case future well claims are made. As examples, Azimuth has completed numerous pre-construction well testing projects for the MTO for highway re-alignment projects along Highways 6, 10, 141, 400, 401 and 518. In addition, similar projects have also been completed for the township of the Archipelago and Seguin.

Disciplines Involved

The completion of a salt investigation can require the expertise of Azimuth's hydrogeologists, geochemists and engineers, whom can all be involved in both the site visits and report preparation.