Road Salt Ecotoxicology Part #3

We need everyone to try the same experiment with different concentrations of salt. We are doing this to practice using a method that is repeatable, have some experience with mixing different concentrations and understand how much salt is reasonable to experiment with.

We got some ideas from studying this scientific article, “Effects of Road De-icing Salt on Larval Wood Frogs” It looks complicated but it is pretty much the same thing we have been doing.

Together we came up with the following procedure to test the speed snow melts in different concentrations of salt.


  1. A bowl to mix salt and water
  2. A cup or measuring cup
  3. A spoon or measuring cup
  4. Salt
  5. Water
  6. Snow
  7. Timer


  1. Mix 4 concentrations of salt and water and one control using the coldest water out of tap. Make sure you stir the water after you add the salt.
    1. 12 grams / l= 2 teaspoons of salt / 4.0 cups of water
    2. 6 grams / l  = ~1 teaspoon of salt / 4.0 cups of water
    3. 3 grams / l = ½ teaspoon of salt / 4.0 cups of water
    4. 1.5 grams / l = ¼ teaspoon or salt / 4.0 cups of water
    5. 0 g/ l = 0 salt / 4 cups of water
  2. Get some snow – volume or weight the same amount for each concentration fo salt. You can use a cup from the cabinet as a scoop
  3. Put snow in the  salty water
  4. Time how long it takes for the snow to melt.
  5. Record the time in a chart.
  6. Send the data to me.

Watch the zoom video of us setting it up:

Watch this video of Linden’s experiment:

The procedure below is another way to mix the different concentrations.

Mix 4 cups of 12 g /1 l

Uwe 2 cups of solution for the experiment, melt the snow.

Mix remaining 2 cups with 2 cups of water = 6 grams / l

Use 2 cups of solution for the experiment, melt the snow

Mix remaining 2 cups with 2 cups of water = 3 grams / l

Use 2 cups of salt water with 2 cups of water = 1.5 grams / l

Sample Chart:

ConcentrationTime to melt
12 g / l4 minutes
6 g / l5 minutes
3 g / l
1.5 g/ l