Marathon County ranks tenth in the state for reducing salt usageSubmitted: 11/05/2019
Maya Reese
Maya Reese

Marathon County ranks tenth in the state for reducing salt usage
WAUSAU - Upcoming winter weather means snow sprinkling across the Northwoods.

Local road crews look for new ways to efficiently handle all of it.

Streets in the city of Wausau get covered with a high-concentration of salt water, called brine.

The brine is used to separate the ice from the ground in a way that is more efficient than sand salt.

Paul Schilling works as maintenance supervisor for the Marathon County Highway Department.

"It's cheaper for one. We can do it ahead of the storm to assist in the snow ice removal," said Schilling. "It's more environmentally sa- or, I shouldn't say safe but it's better for the environment."

They've invested a couple hundreds of thousands of dollars into creating and distributing a new formula for snow and ice removal.

"We're getting better at cutting back on the salt usage and that formula going more into liquid. we're still learning. There's no doubt about that but it seems to be coming along nice," said Schilling.

State trooper at the Wausau Post Rhae Stertz says drivers should consider the road conditions before they start their trips.

"What we'd like to see people do is to drive a lot slower and give yourself a lot more time to get to work than you would if the roads were in perfect condition," said Stertz.

There have already been a few crashes due to icy roads.

The department also encourages drivers to drive anticipating a possible accident.

"Leave a lot more spacing between your car and the car in front of you and around you. It gives you a lot more time to react in case that car does something sudden," said Stertz.

Wausau used nearly one million gallons of brine last winter.

Marathon County is ranked tenth in the state for reducing salt usage.

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