Denver Broncos' headquarters say goodbye to granular salt deicers and introduce a better alternative

Brooks Dodson is the Director of Sports Turf & Grounds for the Denver Broncos Football Club. He is responsible for approximately 26 acres of property at the UCHealth Training Center — the corporate headquarters of the Denver Broncos.

When winter rolls around, Dodson is the one responsible for the safety of their highly valued football stars — players who cannot afford any slip-and-fall accidents that could cost them time on the field. Add to that mix the sheer number of media personnel, staff and fans who visit the property and come through the center’s doors, and walkway safety is a must.

Getting everyone in, out and around the facility safely is our responsibility, and we take that seriously. We don’t want anyone hurt

Brooks Dodson

Director of Sports Turf & Grounds,Denver Broncos Football Club

“Getting everyone in, out and around the facility safely is our responsibility, and we take that seriously. We don’t want anyone hurt,” says Dodson.

As a result, every year Dodson’s facility staff brought out the calcium chloride — various salt deicers — and applied it with a spreader or a cup to prevent slippery walkways. The granular salt product’s residue was always dragged indoors, damaging carpets, tiles and concrete in and around the buildings.
“When you are handling or spreading bags of ice melt, you can smell it. If the wind is wrong, it’ll get in your mouth and you can taste it. I don’t know about you, but I prefer not putting that type of stuff in my body,” he adds.

Dodson decided it was time to seek out a more environmentally friendly product — in the form of a liquid.
He attended the Sports Turf Managers Association tradeshow last winter and found just that in Entry. Entry ice melt is a liquid deicer based on potassium formate, a cleaner alternative to chloride-based salts that is derived from formic acid, an organic acid produced locally by BASF in Geismar, LA.

Formate salts are less corrosive and have a lesser impact on surrounding flora, which makes them more plant- and pet-friendly. Entry breaks down hydrogen bonds formed when water freezes, reducing the freezing point of water to approximately minus 63 degrees Fahrenheit. As a result, once the product is sprayed, it removes thin layers of ice and snow and prevents new snow from accumulating or icing.

After meeting the manufacturer of the product, SynaTek Solutions, at the tradeshow, Dodson tried out the liquid product and never went back to bagged granular salt again.

“Entry performed exactly how we had hoped,” Dodson adds. “Application is very simple and there is no residue. Entry is environmentally friendly and performs faster than the granular products we have used in the past.”

In addition to the newer liquid form of deicing being cleaner and faster-acting, it is also more environmentally friendly. Because potassium formate is easily biodegradable, and chloride and urea-free, it doesn’t damage ecosystems, which is important to the Denver Broncos facility manager.

“We try to be good stewards of the environment. We are very cognizant of the products and chemicals we use around our facility and the impact they have on our environment, not only on-site but downstream as well,” says Dodson. “Colorado is a beautiful state and water is one of our most valuable natural resources, specifically ground water. The products we use ultimately run off into our creeks, rivers and reservoirs. We want to make sure we are doing all we can to eliminate or minimize any negative impact on our environment and our water sources.”

Entry is used all around the UCHealth Training Center, specifically at entryways, concrete steps and sidewalks, and in front of the team store that garners a high amount of traffic. In fact, although the Denver Broncos stadium is located 25 miles north of the UCHealth Training Facility, its operators caught wind of Dodson’s use of this new liquid deicer and its benefits, and now they are picking up the product to use for the stadium, according to Dodson.

We’re excited to see the final results of our formic acid product, along with the efforts of working closely with SynaTek Solutions

Timothy Cavanaugh, Ph.D.

Business Manager, Acids and Polyalcohols, BASF

“Entry is a cleaner, safer, effective product that does not destroy your concrete or building interiors,” he says.

Timothy Cavanaugh, Ph.D., Business Manager, Acids and Polyalcohols, BASF, says the company looks forward to a future with more sustainable deicing alternatives.

“We’re excited to see the final results of our formic acid product, along with the efforts of working closely with SynaTek Solutions, play out in the field, benefitting the end user,” Cavanaugh adds.

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