Deicing Denver

by David S. Backer, HDR Engineering, Inc., 303 East 17th Ave., Ste 300, Denver, CO 80203,
Don Smith, HDR Engineering, Inc., 303 East 17th Aveh., Ste 300, Denver, CO 80203,
Craig E. Habben, HDR Engineering, Inc., 303 East 17th Ave., Ste 300, Denver, CO 80203,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1994, Vol. 64, Issue 7, Pg. 56-59

Document Type: Feature article


Glycol-based deicing fluids are an essential part of winter operations at most airports. While these chemicals help ensure safe and timely aircraft operations, stormwater runoff contaminated by them causes severe oxygen depletion in receiving waters. The New National Pollution Discharge Elimination System stormwater regulations will mandate that airports monitor their stormwater outfalls for glycol. The new Denver International airport is the first major new airport to be constructed in the United States in over 20 years. From the start of the project planning, the goal was strict control of stormwater runoff quality. The combination of one of the largest airfields in the world, the use of more than one million gallons of glycol each year and an established biological oxygen demand limitation at the local waste water treatment plants made for complex design problems. One carrier asked for changes during construction to facilitate their operation, adding to costs and posing new design constraints. Other case histories and Federal Aviation Administration guidelines are described.

Subject Headings: Airports and airfields | Stormwater management | Water treatment plants | Wastewater treatment plants | Runoff | Pollution | Deicing | Denver | Colorado | United States

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