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Webinar – Winter De-icing Operations in Urban Watersheds: Development of a Temperature-Index Based Water Quantity Model

Thursday, December 7, 2017

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.


$49.00 CAD

Urban hydrology is subject to both complicated natural and anthropogenically-impacted processes during the winter season, including the ploughing and salting of trafficked areas. De-icing operations are recognized as posing a distinct water quality challenge, with meltwater chloride concentrations as high as 30,000 mg/L in some instances. A need exists to optimize the use of de-icing chemicals – chiefly sodium chloride – in order to strike a balance between highway safety and environmental protection.

Using a detailed winter monitoring approach of urban paved areas for the purpose of modelling urban winter hydrology, a modified form of the temperature index model (MTIM) was developed which considers ploughing and salting operations. This approach was found to provide comparable results to the energy balance method while requiring less input data. Optimizing salt application rate scenarios can be achieved using the MTIM with only two meteorological forecast inputs for the storm event – readily available on-line through the Road Weather Information System (RWIS) – and can serve as a simple yet effective tool for winter road maintenance practitioners seeking to optimize salt application rates for a given storm event in salt vulnerable areas.

Contact: Julie McManus (CVC) at 905-670-1615 ext. 247 or

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