Use of brine on roads should be applauded

23 Jan 2020 7:02 AM | Smart About Salt (Administrator)

I read with interest the Jan. 16 article regarding the use of salt brine in St. Clair Township. Perhaps I can provide some additional information. I have been involved with the use of winter liquids for road use for the past 30 years in conjunction with the MTO, regional, and municipal governments.

The application described in the article is an operation called “anti-icing” or “direction liquid application”. This application of liquid directly onto the road surface is conducted prior to a storm often in good weather based on advanced weather forecasting. It has been proven that this technique will prevent the bonding of ice and snow to the road surface, making it eight times easier to remove compared to just traditional plowing and salting.

The liquid is applied by equipment that utilizes spray systems that are computer controlled, so the application is uniform, typically in the range of 100 litres per lane kilometre, which is actually quite a small amount.

I have no doubt that the St. Clair Township works department is applying this brine correctly.

This is not a new technique. It gain widespread use across Canada after the publication by Environment Canada of The Code of Practice for the Environmental Management of Road Salts, developed in 2004 to assist municipal and provincial road organizations to better manage their use of road salts in a way that reduces the harm to the environment while maintaining roadway safety.

This code of practise identified three major Best Practices one of which was the use of winter liquids (brine) including “anti-icing”. This is now commonplace and used across Ontario including major highways of the MTO, Toronto, Ottawa, London, Kitchener, and numerous others.

I personally think that St. Clair Township should be applauded for using modern techniques that provide better road safety while protecting our environment.

Mark Slotwinski


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