Water Pollution from Snow Removal Operations

by Bruce W. Pierstorff, Project Engr.; SEA Consultants, Inc., Rochester, N.H.; formerly, Grad. Teaching Asst., Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H.,
Paul L. Bishop, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. and Chmn.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, N.H.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Environmental Engineering Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 2, Pg. 377-388

Document Type: Journal Paper


Analyses performed on snow samples obtained from snow removal dump sites indicates the presence of substantial quantities of contaminants. This snow, removed from roads, highways and parking areas, contained high levels of total solids, suspended solids, chlorides, COD and lead. Over a 2-yr period the mean concentrations for these five pollutants were 5,080 mg/l, 1,570 mg/l, 2,470 mg/l, 281 mg/l and 3.4 mg/l, respectively. Of particular concern is the high lead concentration, presumably originating from automobile exhaust. Essentially all of the lead was found to be associated with the particulate matter. Lead analyses performed on sediment samples from the river into which the dumped snow is pushed indicates that the lead from the snow may become trapped in the river sediment near the site due to inhibition of the transport of the suspended lead rich material.

Subject Headings: Water pollution | Snow | Waste sites | Site investigation | Highways and roads | Sediment | High-rise buildings | Pollutants

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