Vodka Tested on Icy Roads in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Transportation wants to reduce the amount of road salt used during winter.
MnDOT spokesperson Mike Dougherty told KAAL, "We're always looking at what to do that's most efficient, but additionally we are just looking at the impact on the environment." In the same article, Megan Moeller from Rochester Public Works explained, “One teaspoon of salt does permanently pollute five gallons of fresh water."
Brooke Asleson, a specialist with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, told the La Crosse Tribune there isn't an easy answer. Asleson said, "Unfortunately, there’s just not any kind of silver bullet out there waiting for us to just switch over.
Moderation is key at this point. Researchers will continue to study effective products to mix with the salt, and the most efficient ways to apply it to our roads.
According to this KSTP report from 2016: The city of Prior Lake has been diluting its road salt with things like vodka, and using sugar beets and molasses to make the salt stickier so it doesn't wash off of the roads.