Brine Station Study – The Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio

STONE completed a study of the brine station system located at the Campus Shop/Maintenance Building on the Ohio State University (OSU) campus. OSU uses brine on sidewalks and roads. Brine is used for anti-icing (the application of treatment before a storm event), deicing (application after the event has occurred), and for pre-wetting salt before salt application. The purpose of the study was to evaluate and formulate options for meeting the seasonal needs for deicing roadways, parking lots, and sidewalks on OSU’s Columbus properties while also meeting various environmental requirements.

STONE completed interviews with various individuals involved with the operation of the existing system. Issues and concerns with the existing system was documented. From these discussions and based on the needs of OSU, four “options” were evaluated as part of the study. These options included: 1) Moving existing equipment to a new location; 2) Purchasing brine and storing at a new location; 3) Construct a new brine-making station; 4) Eliminate the use of brine. Access, secondary containment, storm water, operational and filling needs, maintenance, and costs were just some of the factors considered. Site visits to other existing systems in operation in central Ohio and interviews with operators was also conducted to determine best practices and compare technologies and manufacturers.

A preliminary Engineer’s Estimate was provided for each of the options, which had expanded to six alternatives once the study was underway. For ease of evaluating the alternatives, STONE provided a matrix comparing each of the alternatives, considering capital cost, annual operations and maintenance costs, and the actual brine cost per gallon.

“STONE performed the ecological survey, environmental sites assessment, wetland delineation, waterway permit for 20 culverts throughout Monroe and Washington Counties. They also prepared the environmental document. We got praises from Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Office of Environmental Services (OES) about their performance. They were a pleasure to work with and were always very responsive.”