In the realm of snow and ice management, the conversation has been evolving towards more efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions. Among these, the use of brine-making and liquid deicing methods has garnered significant attention. But is brine the ultimate answer to all winter weather challenges? Let’s delve into the perspectives of three industry experts, as they discuss the potential, challenges, and the future of brine in snow and ice management.
August 3, 2023 | Staff Editor
Brine as a Valuable Tool
William Fries of Xtreme Fabrication sees brine-making as a valuable tool in the snow and ice management toolbox. He acknowledges that while brine might not be a one-size-fits-all solution, it offers undeniable advantages. One of the major benefits of brine is its potential for cost savings. Although there’s a substantial initial investment to set up a brine system, the long-term financial gains and increased operational efficiency outweigh the upfront expenses.
One of the most noteworthy advantages highlighted by Fries is the reduction of liability. Brine enables pre-treatment before a storm, thanks to modern brine sprays equipped with GPS controllers and live data tracking. This feature allows contractors to provide clients with a time-stamped record of pre-treatment, demonstrating proactive measures to minimize ice accumulation and enhance safety.
Navigating the Landscape of Availability and Education
Jerre Heyer of Jerre’s Services brings up an essential consideration – the availability of brine in the market. He emphasizes that while brine might be the future, its adoption depends on the presence of brine resources and infrastructure. Contractors who lack access to brine might hesitate to invest in the necessary equipment, hindering widespread adoption.
Heyer also touches on the variability of weather events. He explains that brine might not be the optimal solution for every storm or event. There are instances when rock salt remains the more effective choice. Therefore, it’s crucial to strike a balance between the usage of brine and other deicing methods.
However, Greg Straffin of York Motors Inc., acknowledges that education is a pivotal factor in driving the acceptance of brine. Not all customers fully comprehend the science behind it or the logistical challenges associated with its implementation. Educating clients about the benefits, science, and practicalities of brine is key to fostering its widespread adoption.
Challenges and Potential
The road ahead for brine-making and liquid deicing isn’t without obstacles. It is important to view brine as a complementary tool rather than a standalone solution, while also considering the hurdles of storage, transportation, and supporting the vehicles equipped with brine tanks.
As we peer into the future, it’s clear that the adoption of brine-making and liquid deicing methods will depend on a combination of factors – availability, education, and the adaptability of the industry. While the future of snow and ice management may not be solely defined by brine, it’s undoubtedly a crucial piece of the puzzle, offering efficiency, cost savings, and enhanced safety.
The debate around brine-making and liquid deicing as the future of snow and ice management remains nuanced. It’s a conversation that involves weighing the benefits, understanding the challenges, and educating the industry and customers alike. The path to the future might be paved with a mixture of solutions, where brine plays a pivotal role in transforming winter weather management practices.
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