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West Bend DPW crews hope to ‘beet’ the snow the next time it falls

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WEST BEND -- After the first big snowfall of 2019 this past weekend, some areas of southeast Wisconsin are expecting even more snow Tuesday, Jan. 22 and Wednesday, Jan. 23.

About three years ago, West Bend started using a product that contains beet juice to keep roads clear of snow. Those crews are our Monday night hoping to "beet" this next round.

With as much as seven inches of new snow expected in Washington County, it is not just homeowners preparing for the one-two winter wallop.

Doug Neumann

"Our crews got some rest overnight and on Sunday," said Doug Neumann, West Bend Director of Public Works.

After a brief tune-up, 22 city plows will be back at it again through Wednesday morning. What makes this snowfall different than the last. is what is being used to fight it.

"Road temperatures are right around zero here in West Bend. We are using a different chemical called 'GeoMelt,'" Neumann said.

Beet juice used as de-icer in West Bend

For the first time this season GeoMelt will be sprayed on West Bend streets.

Beet juice used as de-icer in West Bend

"It holds a thousand gallons in the truck here. It is pumped out through these spray nozzles," Neumann said.

Held in a massive 6,200 gallon tank outside of the public works garage, GeoMelt is a mixture that helps prevent snow from sticking to the roads -- and ice from forming. It is 70 percent sodium chloride and 30 percent beet juice bi-product.

West Bend is ready for whatever comes next -- using salt, plows and shovels to "beet" it.

The GeoMelt is used on dangerous curves and intersections first. It was first used three years ago -- and has been successful ever since. Crews in West Bend will remain on the roads until this latest winter event is over.

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