The UW-Eau Claire Grounds Maintenance shop uses a variety of deicing products depending on the location, temperatures and other conditions. They include:
- Rock salt – sodium chloride; used on roadways and parking lots; purchased from the City of Eau Claire or Eau Claire County as needed.
- Sand and salt mix – used on roadways and parking lots when conditions are too cold for rock salt to work; purchased from the City of Eau Claire as needed. Used minimally to prevent silting - as part of City of Eau Claire and UW-Eau Claire storm water program.
- Potassium Chloride – used on sidewalks; also known as potash (a fertilizer); some sources have a high iron content thus a reddish color. Purchased from a local farm co-op when costs aren't prohibitive.
- "Ice Melter" – proprietary blends of four salts: sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium chlorides; used primarily on walkways and stairways; purchased from the State of Wisconsin Purchasing/Waupun.
- Calcium chloride – used primarily on walkways and stairways but also on streets and lots when temperatures are below zero; purchased from the State of Wisconsin Purchasing/Waupun.
During the winter of 2002-03 we began experimenting with a couple of liquid products made from a blend of magnesium chloride and condensed distiller solubles (agricultural by products such as from corn and sugar beets) which are used in pre-treating surfaces before a snowfall. The products are quite environmentally friendly plus they extend the working temperatures (to around minus 20 degrees) and reduce the corrosiveness of the salts. The results were impressive enough that we made a commitment to expand the program. We built sprayer units for tractors and purchased storage tanks in order to buy the liquids in bulk. We have used Magic Minus Zero, Ice Ban and Caliber M-1000. The product we are currently using is MeltDown Apex made by Envirotech Services. We also use the liquids to "fire up" other salts in deicing operations.