On my way to work this morning (1/22), I noticed those familiar whiteish-grey streaks on 57th Street. They are brine-salt trails laid down by the City of Sioux Falls street crews.

According to meteorologist Tyler Roney at Dakota News Now, a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the City of Sioux Falls and the surrounding area. Up to 5 inches possible before the storm moves out on Saturday night.

That advisory has prompted the city to send out a preemptive strike against the impending snowstorm by laying down salt brine as an anti-icing & snowpack measure in preparation for the snowfall.

City of Sioux Falls/Twitter
City of Sioux Falls/Twitter

"Pre-wetting" is the application of liquid salt/water mixture to help jump-start the melting process. According to the North Dakota DOT, sand alone cannot melt snow and ice, and dry salt must change into a liquid solution to melt snow and ice.

So crews change the dry salt into liquid by mixing it in water. Studies have found that a mixture of up to 30% salt, 70% water is most effective at preventing ice and snow from sticking to the road surface. This allows crews to be less aggressive in scraping the road with plows thus extending the life of the pavement.

The downside to the brine solution is the rust damage it can do to your vehicle. If the brine is left on your car for too long, it can cause the steel that makes up your vehicle to corrode. The sooner you can wash the brine off your car, including the undercarriage, the less damage it can cause.

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