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City of Knoxville, Tennessee
Madeline Rogero, Mayor

For Immediate Release
City Begins Using New Salt Brine Mixing and Deployment System
Salt Brine System Facts [PDF]
January 20, 2011 - The City of Knoxville's Public Service Division began using its new Salt Brine Mixing and Deployment System with great success on the city's main and primary feeder streets beginning with a series of snow events that started on January 5.

David Brace
Deputy Director David Brace
Salt Brine Mixing System
Salt Brine Mixing System
Salt Brine Deployment
Salt Brine Deployment
Salt Brine Mixing Station
Salt Brine Mixing Station
"It made a huge difference" said David Brace, deputy director of Public Service, "We had exposed pavement the first day it snowed."

The city held an open house for the system on Thursday.

The system also saved the city roughly $20,000 in salt costs alone. The result was what Brace and other city officials envisioned when the city decided to develop the new system using in-house resources.

The Salt Brine Mixing and Deployment System and the building housing it were built by public service department employees at the city's Loraine Street Public Works Complex. The city modeled its system after the existing one used by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

The City of Knoxville's Fleet Services Division built the tank trailers and made the necessary modifications to the delivery vehicles that distribute the brine solution. Work on the system began during the fall.

"We had been looking at doing this for several years and then the heavy snows last winter brought the need to the forefront," Brace said.

The building includes a mixing tank to make the solution as well as holding tanks and a delivery system.

The total cost of the effort is budgeted at $60,000 and the system should pay for itself by the end of this winter - depending on the severity of the weather.

Brace said that Mark Jenks, a foreman with public service has done a great job developing the program and has been its primary manager.

"We handed it to him," Brace said. "This has been his baby."

The salt brine is used as a pre-treatment on the city's streets and will typically be applied up to two or three days before the bad weather hits. It works by creating a watery layer, like a lubricant, that prevents bonding between the road surface and snow. It also lowers the melting point.

That allows the city to use considerably less salt as well as fewer crews for snow and ice removal.

"It's been fabulous," Brace said. "What it all comes down to is we're saving money and at the same time doing a better job of keeping the streets clear of ice and snow."
For Immediate Release
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