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Salt Wise encourages using brine to help keep roads clear

Road salt
Road salt

With winter fast approaching, the city of Stevens Point is taking a different approach to keeping ice off the road. Members of the environmental group Salt Wise met with transportation officials from across Wisconsin, saying their solution for keeping the roads ice free also is better for the environment and the economy.

The solution is to use a brine mixture of salt and water instead of just salt. Salt Wise says this will reduce the amount of salt that gets into the environment and damages roads. Members of the group compared the plan to putting oil in a pan before cooking so food won't stick.

Allison Madison, the sustainability and development coordinator, said, "If you're saving money on salt, you're also saving money on repairing damage that the salt causes."

She says every teaspoon of salt put on the roads pollutes five gallons of water, so reducing the amount of salt put on the roads can also help the environment.

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