The Niagara Region is using a sugar beet juice compound to reduce the amount of salt on the roads by as much as 30 per cent.
The sugar beet juice compound, also known as "organic liquid deicing", is made of equal parts salt brine and the by-product of sugar beet juice refining. The liquid is applied to dry roads as an anti-icing agent, or as pre-wetting agent to help salt stick to the ground.
By applying the beet juice to the road first before the road salt, the amount of "bounce and scatter" is reduced. This means less road salt has to be applied to the roads.
The use of sugar beet juice will trim down the amount of road salt from 85 kg per lane kilometre to 78 kg per lane kilometre, while still achieving the same results.
The Region will see a cost savings of almost $2 per lane kilometre by using the Sugar Beet Juice. This is a significant savings for the Region's 1,600 lane kilometres of roadway.
The beet juice will be piloted in Niagara-on-the-Lake, because of its agriculture and tender fruit areas and the Wainfleet/West Lincoln area, which is associated with the Welland River. These two areas were identified as high risk in a previous road salt study.