Salt Brine Helps Keep Roads Safe

By: Leah Kraus Email
By: Leah Kraus Email

With the first flakes of snow decorating the ground, it's a signal that winter is officially here. That means it's that much more important to stay safe on icy roads.

Street crews in Wausau are mixing up a special potion to keep the pavement safe. It's called brine and it allows crews to save 30 percent of the salt they would use on the roads.

The brine has been used in Wausau for the last ten years.

To make the brine, salt is thrown into the brine machine, water is added, the mixture then circulates until it gets to the right percentage, and it's then pumped into storage tanks directly behind it.

"In a typical season where we might use 3,000 tons of salt, if we use brine, we're going to save an awful lot of money on the amount of salt that gets spread," says Don Skare, Wausau Street Superintendent.

A ton of salt costs about $64 while a gallon of brine rings in at about 4 to 6 cents.

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