De-icing chemicals are deposited widely across airport catchments, being washed off during rainfall events and generating large volumes of contaminated storm water runoff that must be responsibly and sustainably managed prior to release into the environment.
Frozen particles on aircraft surfaces pose a serious safety hazard by potentially disrupting airflow. To mitigate such hazards, aviation regulations require all aircraft surfaces to be free of frozen contamination prior to take-off, which is typically achieved by the application of aircraft de-icing and anti-icing fluids (ADF). In addition, teams of airport ground staff apply large volumes of pavement de-icing fluids to taxiway and runway surfaces to maintain friction for arriving and departing aircraft.
De-icing chemicals are manufactured primarily from organic compounds that are biodegradable and have an extremely high oxygen demand that can deplete dissolved oxygen concentrations within receiving waters. This poses a significant threat to the quality of freshwater ecosystems if discharged into without appropriate treatment.
ARM Group's Aerated wetlands containing forced bed aeration (FBA™) are on-site biological treatment systems especially effective at removing oxygen consuming compounds such as glycols, acetates and formate. Aerated Wetland technology can be fully integrated into airport de-icer management systems and can provide low cost, low OPEX sustainable treatment of highly variable low temperature wastewater. Aerated Wetland technology delivers a consistently high-quality treated effluent that can be discharged into receiving waters within environmental permitting regulations removing the need for expensive and operationally intensive on-site treatment technologies or costly trade effluent discharge tariffs.
Having worked on several international airport de-icer treatment projects, and published peer review papers on the subject, ARM Group Ltd have the experience and expertise to provide a full range of consultancy, design, construction, refurbishment and maintenance services relating to the use of Aerated Wetland technology.
In 2010/11 ARM collaborated with Heathrow Airport Limited to carry out full scale trials comparing the existing passive wetlands to those converted to operate with Aerated Wetland technology. The trial was so successful, demonstrating that de-icer removal was more than fifteen times greater in the reed beds operating with Aerated Wetland technology compared to the existing passive wetland, that Aerated Wetland technology was installed by ARM Group Ltd to treat very high volumes of de-icer contaminated storm runoff from the entire 290ha Southern Catchment of Heathrow Airport.
Aerated Wetland technology is currently being used to successfully treat de-icer contaminated run-off at several airports worldwide including; Heathrow Airport, Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Buffalo, New York, MacArthur International Airport in Islip, New York, Gerald Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Edmonton International Airport in Alberta.