Flushing Township looks to improve gravel roads with Perma-Zyme application

Carpenter Road between Duffield Road and M-13 (Sheridan Road) received a Perma- Zyme treatment earlier this summer. Photo by Ben Gagnon

Carpenter Road between Duffield Road and M-13 (Sheridan Road) received a Perma- Zyme treatment earlier this summer. Photo by Ben Gagnon

FLUSHING TWP. — Flushing Township is planning to smooth out its gravel and dirt roads and cut down on potholes with Perma-Zyme, a soil stabilizer designed to make unpaved roads more compact and sustainable.

In early June, Flushing Township arranged for an application of Perma-Zyme to be spread on a gravel road stretch of Carpenter Road between Duffield Road and M-13. Road crews applied a fresh layer of limestone, sprayed water mixed with the Perma-Zyme solution and packed down the road surface until it hardened.

Since the Perma-Zyme treatment was applied last month, Flushing Township Supervisor Fred Thorsby said that Carpenter Road between Duffield and M-13 has already shown great improvement.

“The road is now like pavement—hard, compact and solid,” he said. “We’re hoping that Perma-Zyme makes our gravel roads last longer and hold up a little bit better.”

Flushing Township split the cost for the Perma-Zyme with Montrose Township, which is also planning to use the soil stabilizer on its gravel roads.

Perma-Zyme is produced by Substrata, a biochemical manufacturing company based in Henderson, Nev., near Las Vegas. Formerly known as International Enzymes, Substrata produces 100 percent organic, non-toxic products for uses such as road construction, soil conditioning and odor elimination.

Royal Marty, CEO of Substrata, said that the enzyme-based Perma-Zyme locks soil particles together to create a concrete-like surface, thereby reducing the frequency of potholes and extending the life of gravel and dirt roads.

“Over time, it becomes cost prohibitive or time prohibitive to come through and perform regular maintenance on gravel roads that get rutted or washed away,” he said. “Perma- Zyme cuts down on material and labor costs because you’re not having to perform routine maintenance on the road.”

Marty said that Perma-Zyme is also more practical for gravel and dirt roads than traditional chloride treatments.

“Chloride requires a lot of re-application, especially after rain and snowstorms, and it carries environmental concerns because it can seep into the water table,” he said. “Perma- Zyme, on the other hand, is environmentally friendly and is a one-time application, so you don’t have to continuously reapply it.”

Thorsby said that the Genesee County Road Commission’s use of limestone on gravel roads has also helped to improve conditions on the township’s unpaved roads. The only drawback, he said, is that limestone produces a lot of dust.

While Perma-Zyme does not eliminate dust entirely, Marty said that it helps to greatly reduce dust by trapping the soil particles onto the surface. He said that the application on Carpenter Road marked the first time Perma- Zyme has been used on limestone.

Apart from fixing gravel and dirt roads, Perma-Zyme can be used as a base layer for paved roads and as a lining seal for ponds.

In addition to partnering with Flushing Township and Montrose Township, Substrata is actively working to bring the Perma-Zyme product to Flint Township, Grand Blanc Township, the City of East Lansing, Oakland County, Huron County and Missaukee County. Prior to the Carpenter Road project, Perma- Zyme was last used in Genesee County to repair Walker Road in Atlas Township.

While Substrata mostly works with municipalities and townships across the country, businesses and individual customers can also purchase Perma-Zyme and other products from the company. To learn more about Perma-Zyme and its uses, visit substrata.us/perma-zyme.