While some B.C. cities have been able to add beets to their winter toolkit, Victoria is too warm for the environmentally friendly option to make a mark here. (Black Press file photo)

While some B.C. cities have been able to add beets to their winter toolkit, Victoria is too warm for the environmentally friendly option to make a mark here. (Black Press file photo)

Island too warm to ‘beet’ the cold

Greater Victoria will stick to its salt-only brine mix this winter

Along with graders, salt and snow plows, The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (TranBC), lists something that’s helping them “beet” the cold this year. Beet juice is being used across Canada as a more environmentally friendly option that reduces the amount of damage a pure salt mixture can do to roads, cars and surrounding vegetation.

When beet juice is added to the regular salt brine it reduces the effective temperature of the brine keeping roads clear in temperatures as low as -25 degrees.

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With Victoria’s average low barely passing the freezing mark, the beet-juice mix isn’t ideal for the Island’s roads but is being used in various cities throughout the province such as Williams Lake and Kamloops where temperatures fall far below the freezing mark often.

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According to a City of Victoria spokesperson, Ryan Shotton, they’ve tested the beet mixture in small areas but found brine is all that’s needed to help prevent icing conditions in Victoria.

“When cold temperatures are anticipated, City crews begin to brine roads to prevent icing conditions and put down environmentally sensitive ice melt products at downtown transit stops, wheelchair ramps and sidewalks fronting City properties downtown,” states Shotton.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

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