Treatment Methods and Materials

salt dome

Salt Dome


LeRoy Anderson Salt Dome: 
Salt, road treatment materials and plow blades are stored at LeRoy Anderson Salt Dome, a gated facility at 1101 Big Bear Blvd. To visit this site, please call Public Works at (573) 874-2489 or email for your safety and our staff’s.

Grissum Building: A gated facility, located at 1313 Lakeview Ave., houses the Fleet, Street and Traffic divisions of Public Works.

Road Treatments:

When snow/ice is forecast, managers check pavement temperatures, monitor the forecast, and develop a plan to determine if pre-treatment of roadways will be beneficial and what methods of pre-treatment would be most beneficial. Each storm, while in some ways the same, is very different when it comes to determining a sound course of action. That is why our plans may vary from storm to storm.

Road Salt:

The City of Columbia stores up to 5,000 tons of dry salt, mined in Hutchinson, Kansas. It is a clean, natural substance free of any man-made chemicals. Prewetted road salt is an effective winter weather tool, though it does have its limitations. Salt begins to lose its effectiveness when road temperatures drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Dropping below 10 degrees Fahrenheit can render it inert. Cloudy skies also inhibit salt’s ability by blocking radiant energy from the sun. 

Liquid Brine:

In addition to dry salt, we also produce a liquid brine (salt water) solution which, when conditions call for, can be mixed into the dry salt to enhance the snow and ice melting capability of the treatment.

Calcium Chloride:

Calcium Chloride is also used in various solutions at times to spread as a pre-treatment when snow/ice is forecast to prevent the snow/ice from bonding to the road and actually melting the snow/ice to a certain point.

Natural Beet Juice:

We may also mix in natural beet juice which increases the stickiness of the liquid brine used to pre-treat roads before predicted snow falls. Beet juice helps the salt brine adhere and bond to the road surface to improve performance. The beet juice does have an odor which some people describe as mildly unpleasant. The odor quickly subsides once exposed to the elements.

Snow Fleet:  

During the winter months, Columbia Public Works re-purposes its equipment by adding snow plows and salt spreaders. Public Works uses more than 40 pieces of equipment for snow plowing operations and of those, 35 vehicles are equipped with plows and salt spreaders. In a major event, Columbia Public Works can scale up resources by reaching out to other divisions and departments in the City.