While some negative impacts of over salting roads, like damaged vegetation, can be seen as soon as Spring arrives, other terrible effects are hidden below the surface. For example, elevated levels of salt in residential wells and water supplies. Even while using the federal standard application rate of ~300lbs per lane mile, the highly saline runoff quickly seeps down to the water table. Once the salts seep in to the water table used by a home’s well problems arise. You can no longer drink your homes water, damage to expensive appliances and fixtures happens very rapidly. The life span of hot water heaters can be reduced by 80% when dealing with chloride contaminated water. The video below highlights the problems in one residential area outside Baltimore, MD.
Links to the cited studies for this article.