Reduced Salt Usage
Reducing salt usage is imperative this year for two reasons:
a national shortage of salt due to a number of circumstances will limit our availability;
salt prices have increased 60% over last year’s price.
The following measures will be taken this year to reduce salt usage:
maximum distribution rate per two lanes miles shall be 800 lbs for all arterials, collectors, and school bus routes, and 400 lbs per two lane mile for all residential streets and alleys;
using a 2:1 mix of salt and grit when temperatures fall below 21°F;
the pre-wetting of salt with liquid sodium chloride or liquid calcium chloride;
the use of infrared road temperature sensors;
plowing in lieu of salting;
not applying salt on residential areas when rising temperatures (predicted over 34°F) within 4 hours.
The primary purpose of placing salt is to prevent the snow/ice from sticking to the pavement. It was never meant to be used as a way of “removing” snow. The National Salt Institute recommends a maximum distribution rate of 800 lbs per two lane miles. Salt is effective when temperatures rise above 22°F. Rather than “over salting” when temperatures fall below 21°F, a 2:1 mix of salt and grit will be used. Most of our trucks are now equipped with pre-wet applicators, and infrared sensors. Pre-wetting will allow the salt to react quicker. Infrared road sensors will allow the crew to decide at what rate to place salt depending on the surface temperature, not the air temperature - in fact, salt may not be needed. Finally, the practice of “salting” away a 3” storm is no longer acceptable. Main streets and arteries shall be plowed upon 2” of snowfall, and residential streets after 3” of snowfall. If rising temperatures are predicted, a decision may be made NOT to place salt on residential streets and alleys and allow them to melt off naturally.