Monitoring deicing chemical levels can help researchers, city governments, and regulatory agencies understand runoff impacts on surface water, groundwater, and surrounding environments. Data can be used to develop short- and long-term improvements, such as identifying and implementing alternative means of applying deicing chemicals.
In 1998, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) listed Shingle Creek as an impaired water, under Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act. The creek is impaired for aquatic life due to excessive levels of chloride, low dissolved oxygen levels, and biotic integrity.
Bass Creek and Eagle Creek form the headwaters of Shingle Creek, which flows into its confluence with the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. The river is approximately 11 miles (17.7 km) long and drops approximately 66 feet (20 m) from its source to its mouth. Shingle Creek is described as a highly disturbed system that is used extensively for stormwater conveyance from a densely urbanized watershed.