TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Safe winter streets at a better price. The city of Toledo is revamping road treatment and saving citizens money in the long run. Sitting behind the Division of Streets, Bridges, & Harbor on W. Central Avenue is the city's brand new brine system facility.
Brine, which is salt water, is sprayed by tucks before snow as a preventative measure.
"You can set it out 24 to 48 hours before snow, and we protect our roads before them becoming icy," said Dave Welch, commissioner of Streets, Bridges, & Harbor.
The facility consists of a machine to make the salt water, and six 10,000 gallon tanks to store it. There's also several smaller tanks, which trucks will pick up to use when spraying the streets. And there's an entire truck washing building, where salt will be washed off city trucks, collected in grates, and recycled as brine.
"It's very environmentally-friendly operation," said Welch.
The new brine system doesn't mean the city will stop using regular salt on the roads, but Welch says they'll use less.
"This will save us about 20 percent of our salt usage per year. Less salt means less cost for Toledo residents. We figure we'll save about, on average, about 6,000 tons of salt, that's about $300,000 in savings, on an average year," said Welch.
The savings won't be instant though. Welch says first, taxpayers be paying for the $1.5 million facility over time.
"Citizens won't see a hit once all at once, it will be over seven years. And again, this will be about $300,000 savings on an average year, so it should pay itself back within three to four years," said Welch.