How do I recognise if I have a salinity problem?

Indicators are signs or symptoms that suggest salinity might be affecting a site. There are many different indicators for salinity and some common examples include:

  • bare and scalded areas
  • a white salt crust on brickwork
  • changes in crop health
  • seepage areas in roads
  • patches of salt-tolerant plants
  • white crusts on soil surface when dry
  • corrosion of water, gas and sewerage pipes
  • tree decline or unhealthy grasses and shrubs.

Indicators are not always easy to detect and may take several years to emerge as a full-blown salinity problem.

Some salinity indicators may be similar to those caused by other problems. For example, tree dieback may also be caused by non-saline waterlogging, insect attack or fungal diseases.

Site-specific investigations can confirm the presence and severity of salinity.

More information

Dryland Salinity: Identifying Saline Areas (Book 2)

Local Government Salinity Initiative - Booklet No. 1: Indicators of Urban Salinity

Local Government Salinity Initiative - Booklet No. 2: Broad Scale Resources for Urban Salinity Assessment

Local Government Salinity Initiative - Booklet No. 3: Site Investigations for Urban Salinity