Airport De-Icing fluid treatment

Treat your glycol-contaminated stormwater, no matter how icy it is.


De-icing fluid runoff arrives when your ponds are least able to treat it.

We can help.

Pond-based treatment dramatically slows down in the cold, exactly when de-icing fluid is needed. Fortunately, our SAGR post-lagoon treatment has been configured to help airports in cold climates address their glycol-contaminated stormwater before it contaminates their environment or runs up huge surcharges from the local municipal plant.

How it works:

De-icing fluid is typically a glycol, an organic compound that is broken down in water by naturally-occurring bacteria that is usually limited by temperature, oxygen, and availability of fixed surfaces. In most airport stormwater treatment, this glycol can quickly overwhelm the plant’s Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) regulations imposed either by discharge permits or the municipal plant. The challenge with treating de-icing fluid is that, just as the de-icing fluid becomes necessary, the water temperature has fallen to the point that the bacteria is unable to reproduce fast enough to treat it.

SAGR post-lagoon glycol treatment is a fully-aerated rock media bed that counteracts the effects of all three factors limiting glycol treatment by:

  • providing ample surface for the treatment biomass to grow on, preventing the treatment bacteria from washing out so it is already in place for the next glycol event
  • creating a fully-aerated environment so there is plenty of dissolved oxygen for the biomass to use
  • counteracting the impact of temperature by growing additional biomass when the water is still warm (with the fixed surfaces helping retain it in the beds) to provide full treatment when the water is coldest.

The result is BOD-compliant stormwater in any season that can be discharged to a municipal plant or even environmentally (if so permitted and designed)!

Meet other deicing fluid treatment clients:

Even in freezing water, you can treat organic loading

For airports across North America, it’s not hard to imagine your ponds dropping to temperatures at which it was long thought that biological treatment stops. Thanks to proprietary advances designed into our SAGR post-lagoon nitrification beds, we can pre-build the nitrifying bacteria necessary to remove the ammonia so you can discharge all winter long, even when the water is <1ºC (34ºF).

Look Inside

SAGRs strategically route loading to different areas in the bed when the water is warm, to grow the needed biomass to fully treat the loading when it gets cold.

Did you know?

There are over 100 full-scale SAGR installations across North America, some more than a decade old.

Case Study

The Calgary International Airport started getting hit with municipal surcharges for their organic loading, they knew they needed a way to treat their glycol-contaminated stormwater…

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