Salt brine facility built in Madison County

Salt brine facility built in Madison County

MADISON COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - If you’ve lived here for a while, you know it can get icy in the Tennessee Valley. The Madison County Commission is preparing for winter weather.

The commissioners are responsible in the event of an ice or snow storm to make sure that the county roads are safe and they have a plan in place to make the brine themselves.

"In north Alabama we do not get a lot of snow or a lot of ice. When it does come, it is an issue for us and we need to have the tools available to do the best job we can with it," said commissioner Phil Vandiver.

The shed cost $60,000 to build. A big building in needed to house all of the salt. The machines it takes to make brine and the huge 6,000 gallon drums to store the brine solution cost almost $40,000.

The project is expensive, but Commissioner Phil Vandiver says ALDOT only takes care of state roads and it’s hard to get brine from other sources when it’s needed here in Madison County.

“They told us they couldn’t provide us liquid brine in the crunch time of the year. We’d have to get it at an off time, so if I went out and bought all the equipment and had to put it out and ran out, they wouldn’t be able to provide it for us,” said Vandiver.

He also say’s making brine is a better deal.

“A lot cheaper for us to come in, use bulk, put it in the brine maker, mix water and salt and it turns into a 23.3 percent liquid brine,” said Vandiver.

Members of the Madison County Commission are following the Boy Scout motto, to be prepared. They say it may only snow a couple of times every year, but now with this operation they’ll have what it takes to keep the roads safe.

We reached out to other county commissioners in the Tennessee Valley. Collin Daly, the chairman of the Limestone County Commission says his commissioners buy bags of salt and sand to treat the roads. He says there’s not normally enough snow to take any other action.

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