MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WKRN) — Before winter weather strikes, preparing the roads with salt and brine ahead of time is crucial. However, ordering enough brine and salt is difficult in Middle Tennessee since some winter seasons see more snow and ice than others. The city of Mt. Juliet is now able to make its own brine, something that paid off during last week’s winter weather.
Last year, salt and brine were hard to come by after multiple rounds of winter weather rocked Middle Tennessee. Andy Barlow, Director of Public Works in Mt. Juliet, decided to ask the Tennessee Department of Transportation about sourcing brine, and their answer was surprising.
“I was pretty surprised last year when I talked to TDOT staff and they said oh, yeah, we make our own, I said you do what?” says Barlow.
The brine maker set the city of Mt. Juliet back around $60,000 but has already come in handy this year with two rounds of snow and ice in the last week.
Barlow says that making brine was easier than he expected, “It’s basically a big tank, and you take the salt that you have, and you mix it in with water, you have a water supply there. So it’s connected. And you just basically it’s you put the salt in the brine maker and the machine does the rest.”
Not only does having a brine maker save the city of Mt. Juliet money, but it also saves time as well. It’s something Barlow recommends to other cities in Middle Tennessee, “I’m already starting to talk with some other cities and saying, Hey, we have this you know, if you’re in a dire need or anything, we’re more than happy to help out. Lord knows we’ve been helped out a lot through tornadoes and stuff and other cities. And so anyway, we can try to return the favor like that we want to and even if it’s just knowledge, we just want to help provide that knowledge out there for other agencies.”