“Denver and CDOT are the best in deicing. From the programs and strategy to the equipment, when I work with other cities or states, I put them in contact with Denver to learn how to operate a best-in-class deicing operation.” - Tim Pike, EnviroTech Services
The City and County of Denver Are Environmental Leaders in Road Deicing
The City and County of Denver and the Colorado Department of Transportation has chosen to be environmental leaders in road deicing, as indicated by the strict specifications put into place in 2017. In particular, Denver has made the decision to not use sodium chloride (salt) due to its corrosive nature and negative environmental impact. Per the standards set in 2017, “No bid will be accepted on any corrosion inhibited product that has not successfully completed the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE) Standard TM0169- 95, as modified by the PNS, and found to have a Corrosion Value of at least 70% less than that of Sodium Chloride (salt)”.
In lieu of sodium chloride (salt), the city favors liquid magnesium chloride and granular deicing compounds that are less corrosive and easier on the delicate hydrological ecosystems that exist along Colorado roadways. In particular, the city has partnered with EnviroTech Services to utilize their liquid magnesium chloride product, Meltdown Apex®, as well as their granular deicing product, Ice Slicer®.
EnviroTech’s Ice Slicer® product contains a unique blend of natural chlorides that outperforms liquid anti-icing chemicals and rock salt. Ice Slicer® granular ice melt is a homogenous (not blended) product containing naturally occurring minerals, such as Complex Chlorides (magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium chloride), Sulfur, Iron, Iodine, Zinc, Copper, Manganese, Phosphorous, and 50+ trace minerals. Ice Slicer® products meltdown ice and snow to 5°F, a full 17° lower than regular road salt and its reddish color not only accelerates ice melt by absorbing 50% more of the sun’s radiant energy than white deicing products, it also signals to motorists that roads have been treated. Furthermore, Ice Slicer® products require fewer applications resulting in reduced amounts of chlorides introduced into the environment. Ice Slicer also reduces the need for aggregates, which is extremely important in Colorado’s effort to mitigate sediment road wash into streams and hydrological ecosystems that are in close proximity to roads and travel corridors.
EnviroTech’s MeltDown Apex™ delivers a 12°F improvement in freeze point over any other bulk liquid deicer available to the City of Denver or CDOT and has a biological/chemical oxygen demand near zero. This performance-enhanced magnesium chloride (MgCl2) brine not only produces results at lower temperatures, but it also improves the ability to combat snow and ice buildup on road surfaces. Apex can be used as a stand-alone product or blended with salt to expedite snow and ice melt and enhance traction.
How Does Denver’s Deicing Program Benefit Waterways and Vegetation?
Decreased sand use = Less TSS on waterways
|Decreased application rates = less impact on vegetation
|Decreased application rates = Fewer chlorides
||Shrubs and grass near roadside survive year-to-year and help reduce road embankment erosion
|Decreased impact on chloride contamination to waterways.
A Common Problem: Over Application
Ice Slicer application rates are generally 30% - 60% less than white salt.
To Avoid Over Application:
- Calibrate equipment, measure, and record usage to make it easier to control application rates.
- Know what you are putting out.
- Use the right product, at the right time, in the right amount.
- Give the product time to work.