Beet Juice Street Deicer

Muncie Delaware County Stormwater Management was awarded an Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Pollution Prevention Grant in the amount of $60,000 to implement a winter road salt alternative product comparison project. The total project cost of $120,000 is made up of the $60,000.00 grant from IDEM, $44,000 in-kind and $16,000 cash that will come from the Stormwater Departments Good Housekeeping funds.

This project will consist of the City of Muncie Street Department, the Town of Yorktown Street Department and the Delaware County Highway Department each receiving a different road salt alternative to use this winter. The City of Muncie will receive 9,000 gallons of Ice Bite; the Town of Yorktown will receive 5,000 gallons of Ice Bite-S and Delaware County will receive 18,000 gallons of Salt Brine.

Ice Bite anti-icing and de-icing fluid is a natural, agricultural product that features ice control performance equal or superior to traditional brines, but less corrosive. Ice Bite anti-icing fluid is derived from a renewable sugar beet source. Some of the other benefits of using Ice Bite are as follows:

  • Effective to -25° Fahrenheit
  • Reduces full application rates from 30 to 45%
  • Reduction in corrosion on bridges, bridge decks and concrete.
  • Saves on labor and fuel costs.
  • Prevents bonding of ice and hard pack to the road surface.
  • Reduces bounce and scatter of road salt at the spinner

The City of Muncie is mixing the Ice Bite into its dry salt supply. The 9,000 gallons of Ice Bite will allow the City to treat two salt storage barns of salt, which is the estimated supply for an average winter. The City of Muncie hopes to show that the Ice Bite and Salt mixture will allow the City to apply less salt during applications as well as being able to treat the roads less frequently during back to back storms, as the Ice Bite and Salt mixture will keep more salt on the roads for longer periods of time thus saving manpower and product costs.

Ice Bite-S is a natural liquid surface treatment that is an agricultural based product derived from a sugar beet process and blended with sodium chloride brine to make a liquid for anti-icing and de-icing that is less corrosive than brine alone. Benefits of IceBite-S include:

  • Pre Storm - apply before the storm as an anti-icing agent
  • Prevents bonding of ice on hard pack
  • Post ice - superior hard pack melting capability
  • Effective to -18°F
  • Up to 80% less corrosive than standard brines
  • Reduces bounce and scatter of road salt at the spinner

The Town of Yorktown will outfit one Street Department truck with a tank and sprayer. The Ice Bite-S will be sprayed directly on road and bridge surfaces. The Town will utilize the Ice Bite and brine mixture to pre-treat road surfaces. The Town hopes to show that the Ice Bite-S mixture can save on late night call-ins when a storm is predicted as well as utilize less road salt overall.

Salt Brine - The most cost effective of prewetting and liquid solutions can be made from sodium chloride (NaCl) and water (H2O) to form a salt brine..

  • Materials readily adhere to the roadway better than with dry materials.
  • Prewetted materials begin dissolving snowpack and ice faster than dry materials.
  • The quantity of materials can be reduced when prewetted, since less materials leave the roadway during spreading.
  • Corrosion of equipment is minimized by spraying the liquid salt at the spinner.
  • Operators report quicker melting with the prewetting process, which means better service to the traveling public.

Delaware County will outfit two trucks with a tank and sprayer. The liquid brine will be sprayed in advance of predicted storms on bridges throughout the county. The County hopes to benefit by reduced overtime and less salt used throughout the winter.

Benefits of all three applications: wet salt or liquid application clings to the road instead of bouncing off or being swept off by traffic. The result is that less product is spread, saving money and minimizing the threat to the environment. Additionally, to be effective as a deicing agent, salt requires moisture. Moisture dissolves the salt, releasing heat and thereby melting the ice and snow, as well as breaking the ice-road bond. When temperatures drop below freezing there is no moisture on the road, and salt alone is ineffective. Prewetting the salt or liquid applications ensures that there will be enough moisture to facilitate the melting process.

In addition to the on the road applications, the Muncie Sanitary District, Bureau of Water Quality (BWQ) will utilize existing water sampling points throughout the three jurisdictions to examine the water quality benefits. The BWQ will compare samples from previous years compared to samples taken during the 2009-2010 winter.

Please watch these brief video's from The Star Press talking about how well the product is working so far on Muncie city streets.