Blitzing for TTF Chloride in Summer 2023!

Jamilee Hoffman
Jul 19, 2023

April 2022 Chloride Blitz (1)

In June, several Streamkeepers from TTF and the Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust met at Ethel Jordan Park to continue the second year of Chloride Blitz sampling.

Last year, TTF began this synoptic sampling program to get a better sense of what the chloride (salt) levels are like across the watershed throughout the year, not just in the winter season when salt is applied to our roads.

We do this by gathering a number of samples from creeks across the watershed over a set amount of time which we then test for both chloride and conductivity. You can read more about these samplings in the full report from last year here.

This year, a total of 39 samples were taken across a span of four days by volunteers and TTF staff. This included 7 new sites and 32 repeat sites.

The map above shows sites that were sampled this spring.

There are some interesting takeaways from this sampling event including a comparison of 9 sites from last spring (2022) to this spring (2023). This provides an interesting comparison, because this past winter (2022-2023) there was very little winter weather and therefore, there should have been a reduced amount of salting.

Additionally, 8 new sampling sites meant that we were able to assess new reaches of the stream, further exploring the headwaters of some of our streams, and identifying other areas that may be problematic.

Three sections of stream — one further up on Baeder Creek, a small tributary section to Burholme Creek within Burholme Park, and the headwaters of Shoemaker Run — exceed the EPA chronic threshold for aquatic life of 230 mg/L.

The picture above shows an example of the chloride test strips used during the sampling event.

This data is being used to further develop a picture of the salt level in our creeks throughout the year. Collecting more sampling points provides us with a more accurate representation, as these synoptic events only give us a snapshot in time.

We continue to add new sampling sites, honing in on specific sections of streams that may be a problem, and continually integrating the data collected into our communications and messaging around salt use in our watershed and its effects on our streams.

Thank you to all Streamkeepers and volunteers who have helped to collect data for this effort.

View the full report from this year’s sampling event here. Learn more about the Streamkeeper program here.

Want to learn more about TTF’s efforts with road salt? Contact

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