Pollution originating in headwater streams, such as Spring Run that flows next to the Penn State Altoona campus, can negatively affect the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay. The Chesapeake Bay is located on the Atlantic coast of the United States, and is home to diverse flora and fauna. In addition, commercial fishing and tourism industries contribute to the economies of neighboring states, including Maryland and Virginia. Thus, it is important to monitor headwater streams located within the Chesapeake Bay watershed for sources of point pollution. Spring Run flows next to parking lots where commercial deicers containing chloride, potassium, and sodium ions are routinely applied in the winter months. Given the proximity of Penn State Altoona's deicer storage shed to Spring Run, we hypothesized that it could be a source of ion pollution for this headwater stream. Chloride, sodium, and potassium levels were measured at various locations near and within Spring Run. Our results indicate that ion levels close to the location of the deicer storage pile are greater than levels upstream, suggesting that runoff from the deicer pile is contributing to increased ion levels in Spring Run. Alternate locations to relocate the deicer storage shed are suggested.
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Vol. 92 • No. 4