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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.
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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.
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.
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: