DAYTON, OH (WDTN) — Brine has become a popular solution for snow removal, laying down a liquid on the roadways to coat a larger area than sand or salt could.

The Ohio Department of Transportation produces their own brine, which saves them and taxpayers money.

Duane Byers, ODOT roadway service manager said, “We make our own brine because we have the rock salt here. We have the water, we have the machines out to make the brine, we can make the brine for $0.90 a gallon.”

To fill up capacity in their tanks of 35,000 gallons would cost $31,500. 1 ton of rock salt is enough to produce 2,500 to 3,000 gallons of brine, with a 77% water to 23% rock salt mixture, reducing the melting point of the solution, but is only effective to around 20 degrees, before switching to a more expensive beet solution.

Tony Brown, ODOT transportation administrator said, “That’s what melts the snow and ice as it hits the ground.”

He continued saying, “The melting point is the 23% that the salt has to be that much for it to melt the snow and ice.”

While the brine is used to pre-treat, it can also assist in clearing roadways during a storm, using their salt supply effectively.

Byers said, “During a storm, we’ll use the brine like in the truck behind me. We’ve got tanks that will also treat the salt. That way when we spread the solid out on the road, it doesn’t bounce off the road. It’ll help the salt stay on the road.”

The Shelby County ODOT garage currently has 32,000 gallons on hand, which is all used up in a normal winter storm.