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FAQ: Why do you spread salt brine on a nice day?

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A citizen recently asked “why is your office spreading salt brine on a sunny day?” Great question – the temperature was in the upper 30s, lower 40s and it was sunny; however the forecast called for freezing temperatures and sleet/snow later in the evening.  The quick answer is spreading brine on the roadway pavement BEFORE it freezes and snows is more efficient and effective. 

  • salt brine is salt dissolved in water
  • because the salt is dissolved there are no salt particles to bouncing onto cars or roadside vegetation; the salt that is applied to the road stays there
  • salt brine is applied before a snow or ice event; it can be applied anytime before precipitation begins, even days before
  • on a sunny day it quickly dries on the pavement and when dry it stays on the pavement ready to be activated by moisture from precipitation
  • re-applications are made whenever visual observation indicates that another application is needed to prevent pavement icing; usually after a rain event
  • pre-treating pavements with salt brine is 300 to 400% more efficient than waiting for ice to form and then applying salt
  • salt applications may still be needed depending upon the duration and severity of the snow/ice storm, however a brine treated roadway will normally not require an application of salt until well after the storm has begun

Please see the attached PDF from the Ohio Department of Transportation for more facts and figures about salt brine and its effectiveness.

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FileDescriptionFile size
Download this file (Salt Brine Use.pdf)Salt Brine Use.pdf 509 Kb
Last Updated on Monday, 12 December 2011 11:02