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Pre-Wetting Salt Better For Environment And Our Safety

Updated on April 4, 2015
It all starts with Rock Salt
It all starts with Rock Salt | Source

Who would have ever thought that pre-wetting salt would not only help our eco-system but also save cities money. Using it cuts down on accidents, making driving during the winter season safer. It is hard to believe that no one has thought of this before now.

When salt is dispensed onto snow and ice via salt spreaders, it tends to just bounce off and go all over the place. such as; into ditches, and onto peoples lawns. This wastes the salt and ruins the eco-system. Across Canada during the winter season millions of tons of salt is being used on highways and roads. Using a pre-wet salt should cut down on the volume used by about 30 percent as less will be needed.


How It Works

Salt has to be wet in order to be activated, allowing it to do its job of melting ice and snow. When temperatures are below freezing there is no moisture on the road so when the dry salt is applied it does nothing except sit there. By wetting the salt before it is applied to the roadways the salt becomes heated. Once applied to the ice it sticks and stays in place working to melt rather than bouncing off in all directions.

What Prewet Salt Is Made From

This prewetting solution is made from sodium chloride and water, which forms brine. The saturated brine is the composition of sodium chloride and water is 23% and 77% H20 by weight that freezes at –6F or –21C.


On the trucks that carry and spread the salt there are tanks that have a solution that spays onto the salt right before the salt hits the spreader.

This has been tested in Huntsville, Ontario, Canada and has now been approved for use across the province.

This will surely cut down on winter accidents, as when roads get icy we all know they are treacherous so melt the ice before the cars start pilling up. Winter driving is no picnic and I really think that this is a great way in which to make our roads safer.

Why All Cities Should Use Pre-wetted Salt


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    • aslanlight profile image

      aslanlight 6 years ago from England

      This is a great idea; very sensible! I like the fact that it saves salt. Perhaps you could come and work for the government here in the UK; we could use some MPs with brains for a change!

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      No ahorseback I am not on the state crews....I live in Canada and do not work for the MTO either. LOL

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 6 years ago

      I knew you should have run for road agent , are you on the state crews? LOL.

    • Mike's Corner profile image

      Mike's Corner 6 years ago from Maryland

      What a great idea . . . we definitely could have saved some money on salt and prevented some accidents using this technique in the Northeast US this winter. I hope our government officals are paying attention to what's been happening in Huntsville.

    • Merlin Fraser profile image

      Merlin Fraser 6 years ago from Cotswold Hills

      Thank you.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks DzyMsLizzy most days in the winter I wish I didn't live in snow country.


      Rock salt and Brine. I have written to the Salt Institute to see what supplier they are using. Will get back to you as soon as I find out.

    • Merlin Fraser profile image

      Merlin Fraser 6 years ago from Cotswold Hills

      Hi Susan,

      I don't suppose you could find out what the wetting agent is and a possible supplier.

      Such a good idea should be brought to these shores, this country grinds to a halt every time it snows maybe this is the solution, no pun intended... well maybe a little one !

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Interesting. Nothing I would have ever thought of, much less encountered, as I have never lived in snow country.

      Voted up and useful, however, as I'm sure there are many who could benefit from this information.