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Get the facts about the City's anti-icing pilot.

During Winter 2018-2019, the City will continue the anti-icing pilot that was started in 2017. The product will be applied to about 3,000 km of roads, or about 40% of Edmonton’s arterial and collector roads.

Anti-icer is a calcium chloride solution with an added corrosion inhibitor. It is applied in a thin layer to roads, once per snow event, before or during a snowfall. The product prevents the snow from sticking to the pavement, helping the roads to stay clear longer and making snow removal easier. It reduces the need for plowing and sanding.

During the initial pilot, it was applied in small quantities to select arterial roads once per snow event, before the snow fell. Treated roads stayed bare longer, road surface friction increased and stopping distances were reduced.

We will ensure we are using the product to its maximum effectiveness. This includes developing processes, training our people and continually monitoring weather patterns.

Anti-Icing Bike Lane Pilot Map

November, 2018
Map of bike lanes that are part of pilot.

View Interactive map

Anti-Icing Pilot Map

November, 2018
Map of roads that are part of pilot.

View Interactive map

Safety

Dogs

In small quantities, anti-icer is safe for animals and should not be a concern for most healthy dogs. Any casual contact followed by cleaning should keep your dog safe. When you take your dog for a walk:

  • Walk around sidewalk areas where homeowners have placed salt pellets
  • Stop your dog from drinking puddled winter water because of possible salt content
  • Clean your dog’s paws with water after the walk
  • Don’t let your dog lick their paws until after you’ve cleaned them, but don’t worry if they have a couple licks
People

As with dogs, safety for people is a question of quantity. Ingesting large quantities of calcium chloride can cause gastrointestinal distress, skin exposure can be irritating, and inhalation can cause lung and throat irritation.

While these ailments can happen with high quantities, small amounts spread thinly on roads are unlikely to cause any health concerns. City crews wear personal protective equipment when applying the product because they are exposed to much larger quantities than the average citizen. The City also errs on the side of caution when it comes to employee safety.

Parks Being Treated

Paths in the following parks are being treated with anti-icer as part of the pilot:

How it Works

An anti-icing solution – calcium chloride with a corrosion inhibitor – is applied before a snowfall and acts as a debonding agent. Snow then melts on contact and evaporates, preventing snow and ice from sticking and black ice from forming on pavement. This makes snow removal easier and more effective, resulting in better conditions for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. In the winter 2017 trial, the City found that roads treated with anti-icer had greater friction and stopping distances were reduced.

By preventing snow from sticking to the road, the City can potentially save time, money and resources, because plowing won’t be required as often and sand may not need to be applied.

Vehicle Wear and Tear

We do not expect to see an increase in vehicle corrosion for two reasons:

  • Calcium chloride is less corrosive than traditional sodium chloride road salt, which is mixed into the road sand that Edmonton has used for many years
  • We expect to apply less of the product to the roads, compared to road sand

Environment

Calcium chloride has less of a negative impact on vegetation than sodium chloride. As we expect to apply less product to the roads than in previous years, the health of roadside vegetation may actually improve.

Calibrated, automatic flushers help reduce unnecessary salt application. We will continue to work with EPCOR to assess and monitor the amounts of chlorides going into the storm water sewers.

Evaluation and Feedback

As part of pilot project evaluation, financial, safety and environmental factors will be examined, as well as the impact to infrastructure and vehicles. This evaluation will help determine when anti-icer is the appropriate product to use.

In spring 2018, the City gave Edmontonians an opportunity to share their thoughts on proposed changes to the snow and ice policy, including the use of anti-icer.

For More Information

Roadway Maintenance

Telephone

Call 311 for more information, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Note: Email is monitored during business hours.

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/cityofedmonton
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/cityofedmonton

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