Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sign Of The Times

Sand pile Amherst DPW

Even though the town has eliminated sand from its war-on-winter arsenal, the DPW continues a generations old practice of providing a free sand/salt pile (even providing a shovel) at their home base conveniently located a mile south of Amherst town center.

Last winter the DPW used between four and five THOUSAND tons of sand mixed in with 1,000 to 1,500 tons of salt.  

The town will continue to use salt, but will do so mixed in a liquid goo of magnesium chloride which can be applied to the roads even before the first snowflakes fall.  Massachusetts Department Of Transportation switched over to this formula years ago.

The current sand/salt inventory is left over from last year.

The town gave up the equally long-time practice of filling ugly green boxes stationed around town a few years back; and the most recent free delivery of sand/salt to homeowners who place buckets by the side of the road may also be the last time for that service.   

What's next, doctors and milk producers giving up house calls?


Dr. Ed said...

Kiss your brake lines goodby -- Maine went to Magnesium Chloride a decade ago and it corrodes the living daylights out of brake lines.

(Gas lines too.)

Tom McBride said...

The corrosion aside, coating the roads ahead of the snow works really well. I'm not arguing with fact that it may cause corrosion. But coating roads prevents accidents and makes the clean up job easier. At times I'd swear they were using a liquid made from fertilizer, because it smelled so bad. It smelled bad, but worked well.

Walter Graff said...

It's worse than that. They started using it in Colorado many years ago and it's caused disasters for cars and trucks namely wheels, rims, trailer landing gear parts and suspension parts, hoses and connectors, electrical wiring, frames, and fuel-tank straps. The specific type of damage most often includes corrosion, pitting, staining/tarnishing, discoloration, drying/cracking, and accelerated rust.