As an efficiency measure, the City is constructing a brine well to reduce the money spent each year on salt to regenerate the zeolite softeners at the water treatment plant. Currently, salt is purchased and hauled in from a mine at the cost of $103 per ton. The brine well will take an initial investment, but has an attractive return on investment. The brine can replace the mine salt, saving more than $100,000 per year, not including the money that will be saved by supplementing a portion of the road salt used during the winter. The brine well is expected to be in production by the summer of 2017.
The brine from the new brine well will have an NSF 60 approval. NSF is the organization that approves all chemicals for use in consumable products. The layer of salt the City will draw from is the same layer of salt Cargill and Morton use for their table salt products. Fracturing brine is much different since it is made up of the drilling waste from actually developing a well and contains the spoils and minerals removed from the ground, plus the drilling fluids and chemicals. The City does not use or purchase this type of brine.