In a climate like Western New York’s, where winters can be harsh, a system to deice planes is essential to travel and commerce. Encorus Group assisted in a project to expand the capacity for the management of spent deicing fluid (glycol) and glycol-contaminated stormwater runoff at the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. This glycol treatment system project has been ongoing for a few years and is now moving towards completion.

The airport’s glycol treatment system utilizes artificial wetlands containing specialized bacteria to breakdown the glycol in the contaminated stormwater runoff prior to being discharged. The system requires careful monitoring and control of stormwater flows to maintain operations year-round. The system has been operating through the past few rain events recently and this allowed the operators to get a better feel of how it would function and what tweaks they would like to see before final turnover. Final system commissioning was recently completed, and the project should be largely finished by the end of the month.

Recently, the Buffalo News published an article on the deicing liquid used on the planes and the runoff of excess liquid. The article discusses how effective and beneficial it is to have the underground runoff for the fluids at the gates for each plane. This cancels out the need for the planes to be moved to a special area to perform the deicing and makes the airport operations more efficient.