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Mobilization of major and trace constituents of highway runoff in groundwater potentially caused by deicing chemical migration

January 1, 1995

The quality of water in unsaturated zones and groundwater is affected by the major ions in deicing chemicals applied to roads and highways. The assessment of the environmental effects of highway runoff requires investigations to determine whether other major and trace constituents are mobilized during deicing chemical migration through the unsaturated zone and groundwater. In this regard, groundwater samples were analyzed in February and August 1991, and March, August, and November 1993 at a test site along Route 25 in southeastern Massachusetts. Analyses indicated that concentrations of major and trace chemical constituents of highway runoff in groundwater are substantially higher downgradient than upgradient from the highway.