Tuesday, December 19, 2017

It's beets: City uses beet brine to combat icy roads

If you see brown on the roads this winter, don’t be alarmed - The City of Calgary is trialing beet juice mixed with salt brine as an anti-icing agent.

Beet brine has an organic compound in it that reduces the corrosiveness in comparison to road salt. Beet brine has been tested in small amounts in Calgary before but Central District Manager Jim Fraser says this year, Roads will be doing a much larger trial of the liquid anti-icing material on city streets and on the cycle tracks.

“The beet juice uses the carbohydrate, or sugar, from beets mixed with brine, a salt/water mixture, to create something that will stick to the road when put down and break that bond of snow and ice to the surface,” says Fraser.

To facilitate the new trial, The City has acquired a new brine tank that can hold 40,000 litres of beet juice. Roads also now has a two-ton drip truck with plow to spray the brine.



“We will be able to load not only this truck but any of our other trucks including our Drip Tank mounted on the Tandem as well as all the liquid tanks included on the sanders,” says Fraser.

The beet juice/brine mixture has been used in provinces across Canada including British Columbia for highway maintenance. Fraser says it been proven to be very effective material for snow and ice control.

“The small tests we have done in the past have been very promising. We are hoping by doing a larger trial, we can really see the benefits this year.”

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