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Toxicity of Chloride Under Winter Low-Flow Conditions in an Urban Watershed in Central Missouri, USA

Abstract

Deicers such as sodium chloride and calcium chloride are used to treat snow and ice on road surfaces and have been identified as potential stressors on aquatic life. Hinkson Creek is an urban stream on the Missouri 303(d) list of impaired waters and is classified as impaired due to urban non-point source pollution. A 7-day toxicity test using Ceriodaphnia dubia was conducted to assess the toxicity of stream water during snowmelt at seven sites within the Hinkson Creek watershed. Chloride concentrations at two sites (Site 6, 1252 mg Cl/L; Site 4, 301 mg Cl/L) exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chronic criterion (230 mg Cl/L). Survival (30 %) and total reproduction (6.9 young/adult) of C. dubia at Site 6 was significantly lower than survival (100 %) and total reproduction (30.4 young/adult) at Site 1 (reference site). Results indicate that chloride concentrations are elevated above water-quality criteria and that chloride may be a significant chemical stressor for macroinvertebrate communities during winter low-flow conditions in the Hinkson Creek watershed.

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Acknowledgments

L. Johnson and S. Olson assisted with the field collections, laboratory testing, and manuscript. M. Stuckhoff developed Fig. 1. This manuscript has been reviewed in accordance with U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) policy.

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Correspondence to Ann L. Allert.

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All procedures conformed to the USGS guidelines for the humane treatment of test organisms during culture and experimentation. Use of trade names does not constitute USGS or U.S. Government endorsement.

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Allert, A.L., Cole-Neal, C.L. & Fairchild, J.F. Toxicity of Chloride Under Winter Low-Flow Conditions in an Urban Watershed in Central Missouri, USA. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol 89, 296–301 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00128-012-0673-0

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Keywords

  • Urban streams
  • Snowmelt
  • Chloride toxicity
  • Ceriodaphnia dubia