When snow is on the way, the City is prepared to plow and treat the roads at a moment’s notice, and as quickly as possible. To help speed things along, the City uses a natural, recycled liquid de-icer to help break the bond between the ice and road faster than road salt will on its own.
The de-icer is comprised of brine, or water saturated with salt, that is displaced when a well is created. The City purchases and uses an average of 15,000 gallons per year. The service trucks normally spray the product on the granular road salt during initial application and throughout a snow event to keep the roads clear and safe.
When road salt is applied to the streets on its own, it does not melt the ice right away. The salt sits on the roads and must react with the snow and ice to create a brine solution, then the ice begins to melt. The application of the liquid de-icer to the salt as it is applied to the road starts the transformation from salt to brine before the salt hits the ground, which speeds up the rate at which the ice melts. The de-icer is also effective during extremely cold weather, melting ice quickly even when the temperature is negative 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
The de-icer cuts down on road salt usage, and will do so even more in the coming years. A brine well is proposed to be constructed in 2017 in Hudson. This will give the City unlimited access to liquid de-icer, and is expected to reduce the need to purchase the product while cutting down on salt usage and saving money.