The City of Des Moines Public Works Department applies anti-icing material prior to a predicted snow accumulation event with the expectation the material will prevent snow from bonding to the street surface. This will result in less residual snow and ice on the pavement after plowing. It is a temperature dependent operation. When pavement temperatures are above 25° F a mixture of brine (23.3% salinity) is applied to the streets and allowed to dry prior to a snow event. When pavement temperatures are between 25°F and 5°F a sugar beet product is mixed at a 1:4 ratio with the brine and applied to street surfaces. This has a brown appearance and is slightly sticky. When pavement temperatures are below 5°F no liquid material is applied to the street surface.
Public Works does not apply anti-icing material if rain is predicted prior to the snow event.
Brine is applied at a rate of 50 gallons per lane mile which is equivalent to about 100 pounds per lane mile. Brine is applied to routes and occasionally to residential streets with hills, intersections and bridges. Brine reduces the amount of de-icing material (rock salt) needed after plowing by reducing the residual snow material on the street.