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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

Dust control

  • 21 Nov 2019 12:29 PM
    Message # 8133199
    Deleted user

    Calcium Chloride is the glue that preserves the fine particles from blowing away on gravel roads.  We lose these fine soils from wind, washouts, lots of traffic and fast drivers, creating a dust bowl. We have a contractor (or 2) in the southern area of Maine if anyone is looking for a contractor. Does anyone have information about limiting it's use near shorelines and well water?

  • 01 Dec 2019 11:37 AM
    Reply # 8147557 on 8133199
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    See pages 35 and 36 of the DEP's Gravel Roads Maintenance Manual, available on MARA's Resources page.  Note that it says, "Use of these and other chemical treatments, even salt, must be limited or not used at all in areas near water wells and in the shoreland zone. "

  • 06 Dec 2019 1:23 AM
    Reply # 8191820 on 8133199
    Deleted user

    thank you. the DEP has some different info on this topic whereas the DOT has some other percentages, so i was curious if anyone has more info. town regulations aka public works also has some info too via the salt/sand distribution near shorelines.

  • 24 Apr 2020 10:46 PM
    Reply # 8926908 on 8133199

    This Dust control thread is 6 months old, but I did not want to start a new one on the same topic.

    The gravel/dirt road in my road association used to have calcium chloride applied to it annually in flake or liquid form by one of the members up until ~2013. This cost the road association ~$300-$400  for the purchase of a bulk CaCl (pallet?) each year and labor was provided by the road association member. Since that time the assoc. member has moved away, the road assoc. president changed and CaCl has not been applied in 7 years.

    Recently some members have been complaining about dust from the road during the summer months when the road is heavily used and windows are more likely to be open. I would like to explore the current dust control options and costs to provide at the next annual road assoc. meeting this summer.

    Question 1: Contractor contacts?

    I am looking for contact information for a contractor or two to provide an estimate to apply a dust control measure to private road averaging 16 to 18 ft wide and about 0.6 miles long with some shorter secondary roads. The CaCl was applied to the road in the past during the grading and rolling of the road, typically completed in May and it seemed to effectively suppress dust and even hold the road together (weak salt cement) through the summer season.

    Question 2: Alternate Dust control products? availability, use, experience in Maine?

    Does anyone have any experience using a dust control products that is non-salt based. Maybe, one that includes a food grade product like vegetable oil or one with polymer binder. There is concern by the association president that CaCl "eats cars". And while CaCl is a salt, it is less corrosive than sodium chloride (rock salt) and it is what is used in the winter brine solutions applied to the road by State DOTs. It seems at odds to complain about dust and then also not consider one application of CaCl when you live in Maine which uses the same product in the winter, and in this case, you live close to saltwater and salt air. However, I would like to explore other available products that are environmentally friendly, even if they cost 2x or 3x more.

    Any contacts/suggestions/experience is appreciated in advance.

  • 30 Apr 2020 2:04 PM
    Reply # 8937895 on 8133199

    Does anyone have experience using the dust control product DustLess from Global Environmental Solutions in Salem, NH. I have attached their literature to share with everyone.


    Dustless is not salt based and is recommended to be applied once annually via a water truck or anything which is used to apply water to dirt/gravel roads.

    I am looking for a non-salt based, environmentally friendly product for dust control to use on our road association road.


    3 files
  • 03 May 2020 1:23 PM
    Reply # 8943631 on 8133199
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Looks intriguing - but none of the literature you sent seems to say what the substance they use actually consists of.  It tells what it is not, but doesn't say what it is, or whether it will eventually end up in streams, and if so, what effect it might have.  It also doesn't say how long the product has been in use, what the long terms effects have been, or whether they have loyal repeat customers.  I'd love to know more about it.  My impression is that this may be pretty new technology, so maybe some of my questions don't have answers yet.  Definitely something to watch, though.

  • 05 May 2020 12:15 PM
    Reply # 8948116 on 8133199
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I referred this question to Pete Coughlan Director of the Maine Local Roads Center at the Maine DOT, and here is his reply (printed with his permission):

    Hi Roberta,

    I’ve seen many products for dust control over the years. They all promote their benefits and virtues. I can’t really see this product’s actual ingredients.

    All products have a Fed’l safety sheet that tells ingredients and safety issues/precautions.

    See “safety data sheets” here:



    The actual performance of a product depends on many factors like soil type, plasticity, humidity, temp, subsoils, traffic type and volume, climate, etc. In one place, a product may be awesome and then simply not work in other locales.

    I always say…….. try it in your location and see how it works.

    There have been MANY studies over the years that compare different types and products. I think everyone of them has always concluded that CaCl2 is always the recommended one when one considers cost, environment, effectiveness, etc. When done correctly, CaCL2 stays in place and has little enviro impact.

    Here is one article I saw a few years ago. Click on the "Gravel Road Maintenance Information” bullet, then see 6th bullet under that for product comparisons:


    Peter M. Coughlan, P.E.Director, Maine Local Roads Center (LTAP)

    Community Services Division

    Maine DOT, Station 16, 24 Child St

    Augusta ME 04333-0016

    Ph: 207/624-3266 FAX: 207/624-3301


    Last modified: 05 May 2020 3:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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