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The original item was published from 1/19/2022 1:40:00 PM to 1/21/2022 2:19:58 PM.

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* Hampton City News

Posted on: January 19, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Hampton has salt, brine treatments ready

salt storage 2

Jan. 19, 2022 – Hampton’s winter weather treatment facility has stockpiled thousands of gallons of brine, salt and other chemicals that will be used to treat the city’s roadways and bridges both before and during the winter storm forecast for this weekend.

 The facility, located adjacent to Langley Air Force Base, can produce as much as 3,000 gallons of brine in an hour. The brine is stored on site in a half-dozen 5,500-gallon tanks. There are also two more tanks that contain calcium chloride, which is mixed into the brine when temperatures drop below 25 degrees.

 The brine – a heavily concentrated saltwater mixture that has more than twice the salinity of water from the Chesapeake Bay – is mixed in a 400-gallon bin and then moved to the larger tanks.

 The city might use as much as 40,000 gallons of brine in dealing with a big winter storm such as the one anticipated this weekend. Six trucks can take out a combined 8,000 gallons of brine at a time. Pre-treating the roads (especially bridges and overpasses) a day or two before a winter storm might use 15,000 or 20,000 gallons. Then the brine would be used again once as the trucks follow the snowplows during and after the storm.

 Delane Carty, superintendent of bridge and street operations for the city’s Public Works Department, said: “Typically we want to make sure the bridges are brined first because they freeze first. Then we brine the rest of the streets and intersections so vehicles can stop safely.”

 If the winter storm will be preceded by rain, the roads will be pre-treated with salt instead of brine, because the salt is less likely to be washed away. During the winter storm, if the roads are covered with snow or slush, they will use salt. But if the roads are frozen ice, they will switch to brine because the salt needs moisture to do its job.

 The brine mixed at the Hampton facility is also used in Newport News and at NASA Langley Research Center and at Langley Air Force Base.

 The facility was built about three years ago and cost $1.3 million.


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