June 15, 2011
An interim research progress report, Optimum Salting for Parking Lots and Sidewalks, has been released. The report was authored by Liping Fu and Raqib Omer, both of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo.

The primary goal of this research project is to develop a better understanding of the conditions that influence the effectiveness of commonly used deicing and anti-icing treatments for parking lots and sidewalks, and to develop knowledge for optimum selection of materials, application rates and techniques.

Initiated by LO’s Snow and Ice Management sector group, it is hoped the report will lead to defendable and uniform guidelines for snow and ice control methods, materials, and application rates. The lack of uniform salting guidelines, as well as clients’ desires to minimize business risk and legal exposure, has resulted in application of what many consider excessive salt quantities.

LO executive director Tony DiGiovanni CHTR, explained the process required to complete the research. “There will be an expansion of on-the-ground research, coupled with an online survey of many members. Further data will also be collected by special computer-equipped snow vehicles.”

He went on to say, “At the end of the day we should have a proper standard that will stand up in court. Right now, there is no standard rate for parking lot salt applications. This project has huge benefits, because of the liability challenges the snow group faces.”   

The state-of-the-practice survey should be completed by December of this year.  From Jan. to Mar. 2012, a field test on deicing operations using both dry salt and liquid salt will be conducted. Also expected next year is a second interim report and a field test on organic deicers. The final report and guidelines are expected in 2013.

To read the entire interim report, go to http://bit.ly/saltreport.