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No salt for ice removal? Beet juice will do the trick

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By Nathan Coleman
Reporter
@NateTWN
Wednesday, January 15, 2014, 12:06

Recent snow and ice combined with frigid temperatures across the country can make ice clearing next to impossible. 

It's been so cold in parts of Canada this year that some municipalities have taken to unusual methods to help with ice removal.


SEE ALSO: Old fashioned Canadian winter


Some say beets are delicious and when it comes to melting snow, officials say they can’t be beat.

Spitting salt onto icy roads is a great way to combat ice, but when temperatures dip below – 20, it's a losing battle.

That’s where the beet juice comes in. 

It works for temperatures all the way down to -32 degrees and in the the city of Toronto, they've been spraying it in targeted areas for years.

The solution is also used in parts of western Canada, but the beet juice mania has yet to reach some main areas in the east.

“For Halifax we've gone with just pure rock salt and we mix it to a particular salinity, but we have looked at the beet juice in the past," says Chris Mitchell, manager with the HRM Municipal Operations.

Sugar is often extracted from beets and the leftover molasses is what gets used on roads.

AVOID ICE CHIPPING

Those with ice on their driveways and sidewalks are urged to avoid any sort of ice chipping.

"Trying to get rid of the ice in that chipping fashion is a no-no," says Dr. Sasha Hamid of the Ontario Chiropractic Association. "You can really do some serious damage to the nerves in your hands and wrists up into your neck and also shoulder."

Dr. Hamid adds that patience is a virtue in times like this.

"So really waiting for a nicer day when you know the ice can come off nice and easy, but please avoid ice chipping."

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