Roadside Snow

As the big melt down begins this winter, I was curious about the dirt content of the snow on the side of the road.  To further investigate, I took some snow from the side of the road.  It did not look that dirty compared to the really black snow along the sides of the highways.

Container of snow

Container of roadside snow

Now here is what the melted snow looked like….

Melted roadside snow
Melted roadside snow
There was quite a bit more dirt than I expected!!! 
After forgetting about this in my garage for a few weeks I found that the dirt had settled to the bottom and that the water became clear.  

Dirt has settled to the bottom

In real life this happens when our wastewater is left to sit in big tanks.  Much of the solid waste is pulled to the bottom of the tank by gravity. See our Wastewater Investigation File under the Science Files to learn more!

Category: Weather