Sussex experiments with salt brine to combat ice, snow on winter roads
Village of Sussex – With winter clean-up costs packing a punch on many municipalities' public works budgets, community leaders throughout the region are looking at ways to mitigate some of the high costs.
Sussex is following suit with a new method that calls for laying down salt brine when the threat of snow and ice becomes imminent. On Tuesday, June 10, the village board voted to move forward with the treatment this winter.
"Using salt brine on our roads will improve the quality of our winter weather plowing operations significantly and will save the village money, moving forward," Scott Ascher, the village's public works foreman, said.
There are one-time costs associated with switching from the traditional salt and sand method to the salt brine procedure. Village vehicles will need to be outfitted with new equipment – including side-mounted brine tanks – that will result in a $96,750 expense.
But after crunching a series of numbers, Ascher and Assistant Village Manager Melissa Weiss assert the village stands to save $16,000 annually by switching methods.
Ascher said salt brine has proven effective as an anti-ice treatment because it slows the formation of ice on streets and works against the bonding that traditionally takes place when snow and ice form together on pavement.
"If brine is used as a pre-wet system, mixing with the salt on the truck as it is spreading, it makes the salt more effective in less time," Ascher said. "Using salt brine in this manner is more effective, efficient and environmentally friendly."
Ascher said other communities that have used salt brine as a treatment method have reported a reduction in salt use by about 20 percent throughout each winter season. The scenario has proven cost-effective from the standpoint of supplies and manpower.
When brine is used as a pre-wet system, meaning it is applied to roads 24 to 48 hours in advance of a snow event, it helps prevent the bond of snow and ice to the pavement, reducing the amount of salt needed during the actual event," Ascher said. "(It) reduces staff time on the road during the event."
Top stories from the Lake Country area. Tuesday afternoons and Thursday mornings.
Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter Get the Newsletter!
AS IT APPEARED IN PRINT: PDF collection of Oconomowoc "Athletic Fields Forever" coverage.
Celebrate Lake Country
communities with stories
Do you have news or a nonprofit event that you would like to share with the community? Whether it's a community organization, a business, a local school, or a notable neighbor, we'd love to hear about it.
- 7th Annual Candy Buy Back for Operation Gratitude!
- Maple Avenue earns state high progress award
- Local Chiropractors Discuss: Is Going Barefoot Really a Prescription for Fewer Running-Related Injuries?
- Welcome Autumn Storytime Sept. 22 at Mama D's Coffee
- Annual Waterford Fall Harvest Fest October 5
- Free Recycling Program for Ink and Toner Cartridges
- UW-Waukesha Continuing Education Classes (Sept 29-Oct 5, 2014)
- Recycling Stream Quality
Lake Country residents share their views on news, happenings and current events.
LivingLakeCountry.com features more than a dozen community bloggers - a group of volunteer conversation leaders who are up on the latest topics and never short on an opinion. Just a few are pictured here. Check out the rest and see what they have to say!
View All Blogs
Do you want to become a Community Blogger? LivingLakeCountry.com welcomes your thoughts and opinions. Contact us for more information:
I want to blog