Source: Sherman Publications

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Sweet road
Mile section of township road treated with Perma-Zyme

by David Fleet

September 25, 2013

Atlas Twp.- At least one mile of township road will be a whole lot sweeter.

On Sept. 25 a mile section of Walker Road between Hill and Maple roads was treated with Perma-Zyme, which among other natural ingredients includes molasses. The liquid product which is mixed in a 1 gallon to 500 gallons of water ratio, works to stabilize the clay particles into a slate/shale type material providing a bond that's environmentally safe, said Ross Rogien, sales and product manager for Eau Claire, Mich.-based West Michigan Enzymes. "The product is not new, it's been in use for more than 35 years, but it's new to the midwest," said Ross, who supervised the Walker Road application on Wednesday. "The product is plant-based and natural. You could drink it, but I don't recommend it. Once the product is mixed into about 6-and-a-half inches of material on the road it will be compacted and then stiffen the road base. After it's cured water will run off the material. It's a permanent treatment that will also help eliminate dust and extend the life to the road."

Perma-Zyme is a brown liquid enzyme concentrate, produced from feed grains and molasses which have been fermented for five to nine days. The end product is approximately 80 percent enzymes and 20 percent sugar, and is then blended with a surfactant to facilitate carrying the enzyme into the soil and other proprietary ingredients, according to the manufacturer.

The cost of the product was estimated at $7,000.

The 20 gallons of Perme-Zyme purchased by the township treated 10,000 gallons of water agitated in a tanker. On Wednesday crews from the Genesee County Road Commission worked on the mile section of Walker Road with road graders and a compactor to mix the Perma-Zyme into the road surface.

Shirley Kautman- Jones, township supervisor who spearheaded the project, said the township needs to look forward with new ideas.

"Improving the township assets along with making our tax dollars work is paramount," she said. "We spend $40,000 per year in chloride on the gravel roads. If we could cut that in half it's a big savings for the township budget. This should improve our roads and save money, too."