Airport deicing contamination treatment

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Naturally Wallace Consulting (NWC) is teaming up with Associated Engineering (AE) to design a major expansion of the existing wetland deicing runoff treatment system at Edmonton International Airport (EIA, Canada). An engineered wetland system is an excellent solution for large-scale treatment in a cold, demanding environment.

EIA has experienced double-digit growth and this deicing treatment project is part of an overall expansion of the airport, which is scheduled to be completed in 2012. The existing constructed wetland system at EIA has been treating deicing runoff for nearly a decade but, with the expansion of the airport, a major increase in overall treatment capacity will be required. The engineered wetland treatment design at EIA includes the installation of Forced Bed Aeration technology developed and patented by NWC. The system expansion is designed to produce a five-fold increase in glycol treatment capacity. Design work is underway and the system improvements will be tendered in the fall of 2010.

'We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with AE on this important project,' comments Scott Wallace, president of NWC. 'Our joint expertise in handling complex situations such as this will be a tremendous asset to the project's success.' According to Wallace, there are four key areas to consider when treating deicing runoff. The varying nature of winter storms, the type of deicing chemicals applied, effective nutrient addition and the need for safe airfield operations all have to be factored in to any treatment design.

'Large airfields such as EIA produce significant runoff with stormwater storage volumes typically sized in the hundreds of thousands of cubic metres,' says Kerry Rudd, president and CEO of AE. Treating glycol-contaminated runoff resulting from deicing operations is a challenge at every airport faced with varying cold-climate winter conditions. NWC is the leading solutions provider for airport deicing runoff systems with effective, natural treatment wetlands engineered specifically for this application.

Completed NWC airport deicing projects include a subsurface flow engineered wetland system at Buffalo Niagara International Airport (NY) that treats 1.2 million gallons of stormwater laden with deicing fluid every day. In addition to the EIA project, currently the NWC team is engaged by the British Airport Authority to design a deicing fluid remediation system for Heathrow Airport in conjunction with ARM, Ltd (UK). NWC is also on the project team with SD Consulting and Eryou Engineering designing an aerated gravel bed using NWC's patented Forced Bed Aeration to treat deicing fluid at Macarthur Airport in Islip, Long Island (NY).

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