Protecting vehicles, snowfighting equipment and highway infrastructure from costly salt-induced corrosion. Headwaters® Corrosion Inhibitors are bio-based, non-toxic additives to salt-based brines applied to keep roadways clear of ice and snow. Developed to meet the punishing demands of Montana winters, Headwaters inhibitors reduce the expense of corrosion damage without environmental impact. In fact, they cut corrosion by more than 70% — mitigating the cost of corrosion-induced maintenance and replacement of public and commercial fleets, snowfighting equipment, private vehicles and highway infrastructure including bridge rebar and abutments .


An over-arching trend in snowfighting is the increased use of salt brines instead of rock salt. Most of these brines are 23% solutions of sodium chloride (salt). Use of salt brine can reduce salt consumption by 50% or more, reducing both material costs and chloride levels in the environment. Salt brine also allows for anti-icing techniques, enabling highway departments to treat roads before the storm hits. Brine “pre-treatments” slow the bonding of ice and snow to the road service, making it easier to plow off any accumulation. The short-term materials and labor savings afforded by salt brine enable public agencies to re-invest in corrosion inhibitors and, in turn, realize medium-term savings by avoiding the cost of repairing and replacing corroded fleet vehicles, snowfighting equipment and highway infrastructure. In 2013, U.S. officials applied about 17 million tons of salt to roads, highways and bridges[1] at a calculated cumulative induced cost of corrosion equivalent to $8 billion. “The [direct] corrosion and environmental costs pertinent to road salts amount up to at least $632 per ton in today’s dollars, and they are often ignored in formulating highway winter maintenance strategies.”[2] Both transportation departments and drivers pay for unmitigated corrosion costs. “Indirect costs to the user, such as traffic delays and lost productivity, were estimated to be as high as 10 times that of direct corrosion costs.”[3] State and municipal departments of transportation and contract plow drivers are turning to non-toxic, biodegradable corrosion inhibitors to reduce these costs by over 70%. [1] Roman, Lori, Salt Institute in “The Surprising History of Road Salt,” National Geographic, February 12, 2014. Accessed on 10-13-14 at [2] Xianming Shi, David Veneziano, Ning Xie, and Jing Gong. “Use of chloride-based ice control products for sustainable winter maintenance: A balanced perspective.” Cold Regions Science and Technology 86 (2013) 104–112. Accessed 10-13-14 at [3] Federal Highway Administration, 2002. Corrosion Costs and Preventative Strategies in the United States. Publication No. FHWA-RD-01-156. (Washington, D.C.).  


Direct Savings $
Indirect Savings $
Total Savings $
Headwaters ROI %
To download full reportclick here.



This calculator is designed to project the costs and savings adding Headwaters® Corrosion Inhibitor to salt brine for state winter road maintenence. This calculator was developed by Rivertop Renewables using the latest research, case studies and government agency data. Included in your PDF report will be:
  • Annualized Savings & Costs
  • Payback Analysis
  • 5 Year ROI Analysis

Enter your information below, and your PDF report will be downloaded to your computer:


Derived from renewable sugars, Headwaters® corrosion inhibitors offer a biodegradable, cost-effective, high-performance snowfighting solution. Headwaters corrosion inhibitors are non-toxic additives to salt-based road deicing brines that can reduce the corrosive impacts of the deicer by more than 70%. They are applied to sodium chloride brine (23%), calcium chloride liquids (30-32%) and blends of these two chlorides. Headwaters inhibitors can significantly reduce the cost of corrosion to fleet vehicles, snowfighting equipment and highway infrastructure, saving taxpayers billions of dollars over time. With addition rates as low as 3.5%, a gallon of Headwaters inhibitor treats more gallons of brine than other additives, saving money on materials and freight. Adding Headwaters inhibitors to salt brines, road maintenance agencies can reduce immediate expenses, long-term costs and environmental impact. Please direct inquiries about this application to [email protected].


Headwaters® inhibitors cut corrosion of brine by more than 70% —mitigating corrosion-induced maintenance of fleets and extending the life of snowfighting equipment, bridge rebar and abutments, guardrails, and private vehicles. Designed to be blended with the deicer prior to application, Headwaters inhibitors maintain brine performance and protect the environment, passing all the tests for toxicology, metals, phosphorous, and friction required by the Pacific Northwest Snowfighters (PNS).
  • Headwaters Inhibitor and Headwaters 10F Inhibitor meet strict performance and environmental standards and are both fully qualified by PNS ;
  • Headwaters 18F Inhibitor meets the PNS corrosion performance and environmental standards but requires a slightly higher storage temperature.
Headwaters inhibitors make substantial improvements in corrosion reduction due to their superior surface complexation capabilities. When chloride deicers come into contact with the steel in vehicles, equipment or infrastructure, chloride molecules will react with the protective insoluble iron oxide layer on the surface of the metal, forming soluble iron chloride and causing it to corrode. Studies have shown that sugar acid salts used as corrosion inhibitors form a protective barrier on the metal surface by formation of a relatively stable complex with iron oxide. This barrier prevents chloride ions from accessing the metal surface. The sugar acid-based technology behind Headwaters inhibitors shows use-appropriate metal binding capacity that translates into significant corrosion reduction to infrastructure, and comes with additional characteristics welcome in any department: it is biodegradable, cost-effective and importantly maintains the ice melting capacity of liquid deicers.


Headwaters® corrosion inhibitors are available in bulk and tote quantities. To inquire about using a Headwaters inhibitor in your salt brine contact us at: 1-844-800-5125 (toll free)
[email protected]
I&ISaferChoice_RGB The chemistry behind Headwaters Corrosion Inhibitor, sodium glucarate, has been reviewed by EPA’s Safer Choice program and qualifies for use in Safer Choice-labeled products.