Defense Date

4-4-2019

Graduation Date

Fall 12-20-2019

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

thesis

Degree Name

MS

Department

Environmental Science and Management (ESM)

School

Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Committee Chair

Brady Porter

Committee Member

John F. Stolz

Committee Member

David Kahler

Keywords

Pine Creek, chlorides, road salt, chloride tolerance, tolerance indicator values, fish chloride tolerance

Abstract

Pine Creek is a 22.8-mile long tributary to the Allegheny River draining over 67 square miles of northern Allegheny County, PA. The main stem runs along Route 8 and receives extensive runoff from road salt from deicing. A site near Etna, PA sampled biweekly in 2013 consistently showed elevated conductivity that correlated with increased chloride levels. Winter road deicing runoff produced acute chloride concentrations up to 678 mg/L. Chloride fluctuated in the summer and autumn months but did not exceed the USEPA Secondary Drinking Water Standard (250 mg/L) or the aquatic life criterion for chronic concentrations (230 mg/L). Sampling throughout Pine Creek failed to identify point sources but chronic chloride contamination throughout the watershed, including the headwaters. Seasonal chemical parameters of surface and groundwater their associations with fish surveys of the watershed were examined. The results suggest deicing is a main contributor to chloride in the Pine Creek watershed.

Language

English

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