Getting a grip on the cost and impact of rock salt: 2019 Mirror Lake report

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WILMINGTON, N.Y. (NEWS10)- For years Mirror Lake, in North Elba, has been feeling the effects of rock salt contamination. High salt concentrations have prevented the lake, that’s less than a mile from Lake Placid, from mixing in the spring.

This process, known as turn-over, allows oxygen to be put back into the deeper parts of the lake. It’s vital to the health of the lake’s ecosystem.

Steps have been being taken by multiple municipalities that border Mirror Lake, organizations and the state to reduce rock salt concentration but the process is a slow one. As the 2019 Mirror Lake report, put out by the Ausable River Association, indicates there is still much more work to be done.

Spring turnover did not occur in the spring of 2019 and in February/March the highest ever levels of chloride were recorded in Mirror Lake. Ausable River Association Science and Stewardship Director, Brendan Wiltse, said despite the findings of the report he remains hopeful within the next five years actions are taken to reduce the amount of road salt in the lake will allow it to turnover in the spring.

Work being done to reduce the amount of road salt contamination in Mirror Lake could be used to help to reduce the contamination in other bodies of water throughout N.Y. and perhaps the nation. “If we can figure this out here, then we can help other people figure it out,” said Wiltse.

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