Date of Award:

5-2020

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee

Joan E. McLean

Committee

R. Ryan Dupont

Committee

Wade Goodridge

Abstract

As stormwater flows over roads, sidewalks, and other impervious surfaces, it picks up pollutants that are deposited on these surfaces. One common pollutant transported by stormwater is road salt. While the application of road salt is crucial for wintertime public safety, road salt has a host of negative environmental impacts. Road salt has been linked to increasing levels of dissolved solids in groundwater, vegetation damage, and behavioral changes in aquatic organisms. Studies have shown that these impacts are concentrated around salt storage facilities. As a result, the United States Environmental Protection Agency issued many state departments of transportation municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permits. In Utah, road salt is stored at Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) maintenance stations, which are regulated by a Phase I MS4 permit. To comply with their MS4 permit, UDOT constructed retention ponds to capture salt-laden stormwater and truck wash water. However, without information and established maintenance and management plans informing pond design, these retention ponds suffer from design issues such as overflow throughout the winter season. Through pollution prevention assessments, pond and tap water analysis, pond sediment analysis, and surface water quality modeling at 11 UDOT maintenance stations, this project provides UDOT with site design guidelines and best management practices to ultimately reduce the impact of UDOT road salt facilities on the environment.

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