Bexar County Public Works beet juice de-icing solution working well, officials say

Public Works has implemented a 24-hour rotation of crews and staff until further notice

BEXAR COUNTY, Texas – As we dipped to near-freezing again on Wednesday, Bexar County Public Works treated roads to keep them from icing.

A KSAT 12 News crew road along with the Public Works Department as they treated roads.

“I do think the tanks hold around 500 gallons, and we have about eight of ‘em,” said Carlos Cereceres, a senior operator 3 with the department.

Hundreds of gallons of de-icing solution were loaded onto the backs of their trucks.

“It actually contains a portion of beet juice along with the various salts. And we’ve been giving it a try, and it’s been working out pretty great so far,” Cereceres said.

The solution has worked so well that they haven’t had to close any roads.

Over the past 24 hours, they’ve used about 1,200 gallons of the new solution.

It works simply by spraying it on the roads, and then cars driving over the top help to spread it out.

“Spreads out more evenly where people actually drive to keep the ice from building up in those areas,” he said.

Aaron Martinez, the Public Works superintendent, says they work closely with Bexar County Sheriff’s Office to identify roads that need special attention.

“We have about 6 to 8 hotspots that the sheriff has identified, but we’ve also identified some that we know that might ice up. So in total, we probably have about 15 areas that we’re gonna spray today,” Martinez said.

It’s not just roads for which their crews are responsible.

“Today, we actually had a tree down, so our guys went out and removed the debris. We’ve just been maintaining and monitoring the area closely for the safety of the public,” Martinez said.

They’re working in shifts to ensure we are all taken care of on the roads.

“The guys that are out there, the ones that are actually applying the de-icing, the guys that are placing out the barricades, they’re the guys that really are the ones that kind of make, you know, Bexar County and constituents safe out there,” Martinez said.

They’ll continue treating roads Wednesday night into Thursday morning as long as temperatures are low.

If you need to report debris in the road in unincorporated Bexar County, reach out to your service station.

Cagnon Service Center: 210-631-0220

Judson Service Center: 210-361-0240

Southton Service Center: 210-631-0200


About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.

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