Well, it IS the Cheese State after all!  Wisconsin cheese makers and road crews are helping each other out with a novel use for leftover brine.

Polk County highway department officials are using the salty brine solution that is a waste product of cheese-making on slick winter roads with great success.  They've contracted with F&A Dairy Products to utilize the solution for their own use.  So far it's not only working well at reducing the ice, but it's also saving taxpayers money.

Polk County estimated its first year saving from cheese brine at $40,000. More cheese brine means less salt and fewer other de-icing chemicals have to be used on county roads.

The cheese factory, which gives the brine to the county, is saving money too. Chuck Engdahl, the plant's waste water manager, estimates annual savings as high as $25,000 due to brine no longer being transported to Superior for treatment.

The brine has proven successful at doing it's job on the road even with our recent sub-zero temperatures.

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