Rugged Assmann Polyethylene Storage Tanks provide easy access to salt brine solution and help Maine DOT respond faster to storm events.
In the state of Maine, where snow can make its appearance as early as mid-October and stay around until the first of May, keeping the roads passable in the winter season keeps the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) busy. In 2000, for example, road crews had to deal with 100 inches of snow.
To better respond to storms, three years ago, the DOT began a pilot program of using a salt brine solution on the highway. The solution is made by mixing 2.5 lb of salt per gal of water to make a 23.3% brine solution. It is used from the seat time to the storm event and used in both snow and ice storms. Sprayed directly on the application, the salt brine solution keeps the road wet for about 2 hours, giving the crews a chance to get in and respond to the storm.
Robert Slocum, Highway Maintenance Superintendent, said, "We are using the salt brine solution more extensively. It works better and saves material on our end." For example, using the brine solution has reduced the use of sand significantly for Division 6. Prior to using the solution, the Division put up 44,000 yards of sand. In 2002, it only put up 29,000 yards.
The Maine DOT Needed Weather Resistant Tanks that Could be Used Outside
Maine's Division 6 covers the heavily populated coastal area and the southern counties of York and Cumberland as far west as Bridgeton. 40% of the state's population reside here. Division 6 has 126 employees and 74 trucks.
During the pilot program, the DOT stored the solution in tanks previously used to store calcium chloride. When Maine DOT officials determined they would make using the salt brine solution part of their storm response program, they needed storage tanks specifically allocated for storing the solution. The plan was to have the salt brine tanks placed across the state at the "camps" where crews were based so that the snow removal trucks would have easy access to the tanks to refill.
The tanks had to be weather resistant and usable outside. The job went out to bid.
Assmann Corporation, Garrett, IN, was selected to provide the plastic tanks. Slocum, said, "They had the best product for what we were looking for." A key factor in the selection of Assmann polyethylene storage tanks was that Assmann is an ISO certified manufacturer. The company met the quality standards the state needed for the tanks.
Assmann Had the Best Product for What Maine DOT was Looking For
The tanks the Maine DOT selected were Assmann ICT 5500 gallon (20818 liters) capacity vertical storage tanks. The tanks are semi-translucent vertical tanks that are manufactured from rotational-molded, high density crosslink, FDA-compliant linear polyethylene. They have gallon markers and molded-in access openings.
The polyethylene tanks' one-piece seamless molded construction also conforms to ASTM D 1998-96 standard for liquid storage. They have excellent low temperature impact resistance and are U.V. stabilized making them ideal for use outdoors. The tanks are also more corrosion and chemical resistant than fiberglass, stainless or mild steel.
Once the Maine DOT selected the Assmann plastic storage tanks, the job had to be completed fast. It was already late fall when the bid was finalized. In addition, the tanks had to be custom designed and manufactured to meet the Maine DOT's specifications.
Assmann acted quickly to design and manufacture the 41 tanks specified in the bid. In two months they had completed the job.
From November to December 2001, Assmann supplied 41 vessels to the Maine DOT. 39 were the 5500 gallon tanks; 2 were 3000 gallon capacity units. In the month of November, the company manufactured and shipped 20 tanks to the state. In the month of December, they manufactured and shipped 21 tanks to the state. Due to their size, only 4 tanks would fit on a semi-truck. Two truckloads a week left the Assmann plant in Indiana.
Assmann Only Took Two Months to Design, Manufacture and Deliver 41 Tanks to Maine DOT
During the job, Assmann worked closely with the Maine DOT. Daily communication ensured that the project went smoothly and the logistics were worked out. Assmann dropped the tanks where needed throughout the state of Maine.
Today, with the plastic tanks located across the state, crews have easy access to the solution. They use pumps to move the salt brine solution from the storage tanks to saddle tanks located on the snow trucks. Maine's 10-wheel snow trucks have two 100 gallon saddle tanks mounted on either side of the hopper to hold the solution. Its 6-wheel trucks have 75 gallon saddle tanks.
Using the salt brine solution and having it strategically stored provides the Maine DOT with a window of opportunity to lay down the solution before a storm hits and helps them respond quickly to snow and ice storms.