How much salt

Agreen and Agreen

Every year students expect to see snow. They also see 900 tons of salt.

The University uses 900 tons of salt a year to battle outdoor snow conditions, said Carl Cogar, the assistant vice president for facilities.

Duane Hamilton, director of campus services, said employees try to salt everything during the winter.

“With the storm two weeks ago, we worked 36 hours straight and we still don’t think we got everything we wanted,” Hamilton said.

“There were almost 40 people working.”

During the snowfall last week, it took one employee about two hours to put out an efficient amount of salt.

Hamilton said intersections are always the first priority, along with emergency routes and handicap accesses.

“Salt works as good traction because it’s not as slippery as ice,” Hamilton said. “If it’s too cold for the salt to melt the ice, it’ll still serve as a gripping force.”

The University buys the same salt as the Ohio Department of Transportation, which has certain specifications for salt mixed with dirt and stones.

“Everyone uses the same kind,” Hamilton said. “It’s rock salt from the earth that’s ground to a certain size. The stones and dirt in the salt help to break up the snow.”

Hamilton said the University anticipates seven major storms a year.

There are many factors when debating how much salt is used, including temperature and if the snow is blowing.

Hamilton said the University uses salt spreaders that are on trucks to cast out salt on the roads.

“You can usually see within 20 to 30 minutes if that’s enough,” Hamilton said. “Sometimes you just need to keep repeating that process for hours or days. In the storm two weeks ago, most of the staff worked 36 hours in a row and they were constantly going over the same places.”

The University also uses a drop spreader to salt sidewalks. This drops the salt straight down.

Employees only use a broadcast spreader, which spins and throws salt, so the salt will not fall on grass. Just as snow and salt do not mix well, grass and salt don’t either.

The University also uses salt for its dining services.

So far this academic year, the University has purchased 14 cases of iodized salt for dining, which is equal to 546 pounds, said Daria Blachowski-Dreyer, the associate director of Dining Services.

The University also purchased 288 pounds of kosher salt and five boxes of 6,000 salt packets, as well as 336 salt shakers.