• Salt Brine Program


    Salt Brine Program

    What is salt brine?

    Salt brine is rock salt (sodium chloride) dissolved in water.  It is a pro-active approach to controlling snow and ice on the roadways.

    Why use salt brine?

    The use of salt brine is much more cost effective and allows the Town to treat the streets prior to the storm. This will help keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement and allows the roads to return to bare pavement much quicker once the storm has passed. It’s like spraying a fry pan with oil to keep food from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Other advantages:

    1. Anti-icing returns road surfaces to normal faster, resulting in fewer accidents and delays.
    2. Brine jumpstarts the melting process because salt needs moisture to be effective.
    3. The liquid brine does not bounce or blow off the road surface (unlike rock salt or sand) so material is used more efficiently.
    4. Salt residue stays on the road, ready to work when precipitation begins.
    5. The Town crew can cover more area for less cost by using brine.
    6. Increased efficiency of brine results in less salt used per storm event. Less salt used = less cost.
    7. Salt brine is better for the environment.
    8. The cost and need for clean-up of sand in the spring is eliminated.

    When is salt brine used?

    Salt brine is applied by spraying it on the pavement up to 72 hours prior to a winter storm. This “pre-treatment” is a snow fighting strategy used in anticipation of storms where accumulating ice or snow is predicted. If brine is applied just before a winter storm, salt brine will begin working as soon as the first snowflake falls. This will help delay the accumulation of snow and ice on the pavement.

    How is salt brine applied to the road when pre-treating?

    The Town has a specially modified truck which allows brine to be sprayed on the road surface at the correct volume per road mile.

    What should I do when following a truck applying salt brine?

    Trucks applying salt brine usually travel less than 30 mph.  Motorists should stay back approximately 500 feet behind the vehicles.

    See link: Efficient for Wisconsin Winter Maintenance

    Salt brine truck: