Public Works Department crews sometimes spray the main streets in the Village with liquid deicing chemicals in preparation for potential snowfall. This pre-treatment prevents snow from accumulating as quickly by breaking the freezing bond between the snow and pavement. Normally as vehicles drive over snow, the snow compacts into ice and becomes slippery. With liquids applied, the snow cannot form into ice, which leads to fewer accidents and allows us to use less road salt.
The liquid mixture is comprised of salt brine, calcium chloride and beet juice extract and is non-toxic to pets. The beet juice extract encapsulates the other two components and acts as the binding agent to adhere the mixture to the street. As snow falls on the road, the moisture dissolves the beet juice and activates the salt brine and calcium chloride. Calcium chloride allows the salt brine to work at lower temperatures down to about -12°F (formulations without calcium chloride only work to 10-15°F). Even if we do not receive any snow, the pre-treatment can remain active on the road for up to 5 days, depending on weather and traffic volume.
We can only use this pre-treatment in certain conditions though. The roads must be dry so the liquids can set and we typically apply it on warmer, sunny days to help it set more quickly. Pavement temperatures must be above 15°F otherwise it will become slippery, rather than adhering to the road. Lastly, the oncoming storm must be forecasted to start as snow; if it begins as rain, the liquids will wash away.
For more information, call Public Works at 847-705-5200.