Many winter maintenance professionals are taking action to reduce their salt use while maintaining public safety. Check out the case studies below to learn what actions others have taken and their results. If you are a municipal representative or winter maintenance professional interested in taking action and reducing salt in your community, you can learn more about each project using the contact information provided.
City of Fitchburg
The City of Fitchburg has implemented a number of salt-saving techniques to minimize salt use while maintaining public safety. Watch the video below to learn about techniques they have used, including: adjustments to existing machinery, salt prewetting, calibration of spreading trucks, ground speed based spreading, and anti-icing (brine) before the storm.
Village of Shorewood Hills
The Village of Shorewood Hills has taken a multi-faceted approach to reducing their salt use including, maintenance on manholes to limit the amount of salty water getting into the stormsewer, practicing anti-icing, installing pre-wetting equipment on trucks, calibrating equipment, using GPS controllers, and perhaps most importantly, public education. By letting residents know about changes in winter maintenance ahead of the storms, residents were better prepared and calls to the public works department were reduced. Currently, they are using about 30% less salt per storm event and saving around $4,000 per year.
To learn more about this project, contact John Mitmoen.
Mad Plowing & Mowing and the Friends of Lake Wingra
The purpose of this two-pronged project was to better understand methods to combat increasing chloride concentrations in our waters and disseminate that information to winter maintenance professionals. This two components of this project were to: (1) educate operators on salt-application reduction techniques, and (2) explore the benefits of brine applications. Their key findings were:
- In general, brine applications reduced salt application by one-third to half the amount.
- Brine combined with high traffic is especially effective, but only to a point. Heavy traffic can still cause ice to form.
- Brine performed significantly better on parking lots with good surface conditions. Older, cracked blacktop absorbs brine reducing its efficacy.
Read more about this project on the Friends of Lake Wingra website.
To learn more about this project, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District
At Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, salt reduction started with sharing information and education about safe winter walking and driving with all employees at staff meetings. All staff receive information at staff meetings and more than 90% of their grounds crew have attended effective winter maintenance trainings. They employ best practices including using pavement temperature meters before applying deicers, use hand spreaders, and use anti-icing techniques when appropriate. The crew supervisor maintains a record of each event, including conditions, salt used and notes about what did or did not go well for that particular snow clean-up. Watch the video below to hear what they tried, what they learned, and what they plan to do in the future.
To learn more about this project, contact Chad Petersen.
Many individuals and facilities are taking action to reduce their salt use through water softener tuneups and upgrades. Check out the case studies below to learn what actions others have taken and their results. If you are a facility manager, the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District offers Salt Reduction Rebates for Commercial/Industrial Facilities that could help you reduce your salt use.
Dane County Water Softener Upgrades
As a Salt Wise partner, Dane County wanted to protect fresh water by reducing salt. With funding from Dane County sustainability grants and Madison Municipal Sewerage District rebates, they were able to improve water softening systems at four of their facilities. In their public safety building, preliminary results have shown a 56% salt reduction resulting in a cost savings of over $2,600 per year.
To learn more about this project, contact Todd Draper.