Secure Your Brine

Secure Your Brine

Using some “in-the-box” thinking, snow fighter Chris Mario outlines a way to protect and secure remote brine tanks.

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Snow fighter Chris Marino is a big advocate for liquid deicing in commercial snow removal. In fact, his company, Xtreme Snow Pros, has been using the technology successfully for the better part of the last decade on properties throughout New Jersey and parts of New York state.

 
Chris Marino, Xtreme Snow Pros
One of the problems he ran into, though, was the need to keep his application trucks full of brine, which becomes a challenge the farther and farther he serviced away from refill points at his HQ in Mahwah or satellite offices. One solution was to place remote tanks on client sites, but that raised a number of red flags, primarily with site security.

“We’d been exploring ways to store our liquid tanks out in the field,” says Marino, a 2017 Leadership Award recipient. “You can place a tank [on a client’s site] but the problem is that it’s exposed, not to the elements, but to vandalism. Someone – kids, vandals, a competitor -- could just open up the tank valve and dump thousands of gallons [of brine] on the property.

“You could place a lock on the tank, but the way the valves are set up they could easily be broken and dump thousands of gallons of salt brine into one concentrated area, which would be an environmental problem,” he adds.



So, Marino and his team devised a way to utilize a 6,000-gallon bladder system inside a 20-foot shipping container. The durable bladders are actually designed to fit inside shipping containers and are used to ship oils and other industrial liquids overseas.

“Now we have the bladders [filled with brine] inside the shipping containers, which we can lock and secure and no one knows what’s in there,” Marion says.

The shipping containers are relatively inexpensive and pretty easy to obtain, Marino says. Typically, they run around $1,500 each, or you can rent them for just the winter months.

The bladders cost between $300 and $400, and Marino adds they purchased theirs direct from China through the website Alibaba.com. He warns, though, when purchasing from China to expect some lag time before you receive your purchase.

“Overall, this is one way we thought out of the box and came up with a solution that we can get our [deicing trucks] out there and know our [brine] will be safe,” he says.

Mike Zawacki is editor of Snow Magazine. You can reach him at mzawacki@gie.net.