Franklin Public Works Director Robert “Brutus” Cantoreggi discusses road treatment strategies in the video “On the Road With Salt.”

Just in time for winter, two public works officials from Franklin are featured in a short video offering advice on treating roads in ways that promote safety while minimizing impacts on the environment.

On the Road With Salt” features Public Works Director Robert “Brutus” Cantoreggi and Carlos Rebelo, the town’s highway and grounds superintendent, describing their efforts to balance safety with protecting the water supply and the local environment.

“As a public works guy, I wear a lot of different hats,” Cantoreggi said in the video. “On one hand, I’m dealing with my residents, and they want the safest roads possible and the quickest way and the cheapest way to do it. On the other hand, I run the water department, and in the water department, they want quality drinking water.”

Salty snow and ice melt flows from roads into water bodies and groundwater, where it can harm and even kill freshwater animals such as snails, frogs and trout, and can cause drought-like symptoms in plants and health problems for people.

Cantoreggi and Rebelo said they’ve made a variety of efforts to reduce their use of salt on the town’s 180 lane miles of road: targeted salting in high-traffic and hilly areas instead of oversalting the whole town; checking road treatment trucks each year to ensure that they are correctly calibrated; training employees on striving for the goal of using no more than 250 pounds of salt per road mile; pretreating roads during the three or four days before a storm; and educating the public to stay off the roads during storms and to reduce speeds when they do use them.

As a result, the Franklin officials said, they have reduced salt use by about one third.

“Salt is a problem, and we don’t want to contribute to it,” Rebelo said in the video. “We want to be a solution.”

Produced by Trillium Studios Film, the nearly 8-minute video is part of the Turnaround Films series, which highlights innovative solutions to the changing environment. Cantoreggi said the video was filmed last winter and completed in the fall.

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