Salt in Your Soil After Hurricane?

Posted on 7th November 2012 in Uncategorized

Salt Water Contamination of Soils by Hurricane Sandy

Many coastal Connecticut residents have contacted the University of Connecticut Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory because of their concerns of salt contamination from either flooding or storm surges. The amount of damage done to plants will depend on the salinity of the water, how long the plants were in contact with it, and also, to some extent on plant species. The best way to counteract the desiccation caused by salts is to leach them out with fresh water. With more rain in the forecast for later this week, the salt problem may be taken care of in sandy, well-drained soils. Greatest problems for plants are those situated in low lying, poorly drained or heavily flooded areas and even with more rain, there is no place for the salts to go. In all likelihood, plants in these areas will die, the salts will leach out eventually over the winter and the area would need to be replanted next spring. Gypsum is not especially effective except in limited circumstances. The lab does offer testing of soluble salt levels. For more information, call us at (860) 486-4274 or visit www.soiltest.uconn.edu<http://www.soiltest.uconn.edu>. Another issue to consider besides salt, is the possibility for contamination from septic systems, water treatment plants, businesses, industry and waste sites. Testing for these types of materials is more difficult and costly.

Contact: Dawn Pettinelli
UConn Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory
dawn.pettinelli@uconn.edu<

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