What is Salt Brine?
Salt brine is a solution of salt (typically sodium chloride) and water. It has a freezing point lower than pure water and, as such, is a useful tool in reducing the adhesion of snow and ice to road surfaces. The freezing point of brine is a function of the salt being used in the bring (sodium chloride or calcium chloride) and the percentage by weight of the salt in the solution.
Why is salt brine important?
Rock salt, or solid salt, is simply crystals of sodium chloride. Until it has gone into solution — that is, until it has formed brine, will do nothing to stop snow from freezing to the pavement surface. Agencies that use rock salt in their winter maintenance activities are doing so to create brine on the road surface. Therefore brine is an integral and critical part of winter maintenance activities.
What is the difference between anti-icing and de-icing?
• Anti-icing is the proactive approach taken to decrease the likelihood of snow and ice bonding to the pavement surface. Anti-icing involved placing a layer of brine on the surface of the pavement before the winter storm has begun. This layer prevent snow and ice from freezing to the road.
• De-icing is the alternative to anti-icing which is when the snow has bonded to the road, to use pre-wet rock salt to break the bond between the snow and the pavement.
What are the benefits?
Studies have shown that anti-icing will achieve the same level of service on a road or highway using 1/4 to 1/5 the amount of salt used in de-icing. Typically, anti-icing is preformed using trucks carrying large tanks, which have pumps to spray the brine onto the pavement surfaces. In many places, lines or stripes of brine can be seen on a road before a given event.
Where will the brine be used in South Milwaukee?
At this time, not all streets will use the salt brine solution. These are the following streets that we will utilize the salt brine solution until we grow the program more:
Hawthorne Avenue / E.W. Luther School
N. Chicago Avenue
Marion Avenue / Lakeview School
Marshall Avenue to Water Utility
Blakewood Avenue / Blakewood School
Forest Hill Avenue
Police Department / City Hall
S. Chicago Avenue
15th Avenue / Middle-High School
Rawson Avenue / Rawson School