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Impacts of Aircraft Deicer and Anti-icer Runoff on Receiving Waters from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Watershed ManWatershed Management to Meet Water Quality Standards and TMDLS (Total Maximum Daily Load) Proceedings of the 10-14 March 2007, San Antonio, Texas  701P0207.(doi:10.13031/2013.22465)
Authors:   Glenn R Harwell, Steven R Corsi, Steven W Geis, Daniel Bergman
Keywords:   Dissolved oxygen, ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, aircraft deicer

From October 2002 to April 2004, data were collected from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport (TX, USA) outfalls and receiving waters (Trigg Lake and Big Bear Creek) to document the magnitude and potential effects of aircraft deicer and anti-icer fluid (ADAF) runoff on water quality. Glycol concentrations at outfalls ranged from less than 18 to 23,800 mg/L, whereas concentrations in Big Bear Creek were less because of dilution, dispersion, and degradation, ranging from less than 18 to 230 mg/L. Annual loading results indicate that 10 and 35% of what was applied to aircraft was discharged to Big Bear Creek in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Glycol that entered Trigg Lake was diluted and degraded before reaching the lake outlet. Dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations at airport outfalls sometimes were low (<2.0 mg/L) but typical of what was measured in an urban reference stream. In comparison, the DO concentration at Trigg Lake monitoring sites was consistently greater than 5.5 mg/L during the monitoring period, probably because of the installation of aerators in the lake by DFW personnel. The DO concentration in Big Bear Creek was very similar at sites upstream and downstream of airport influence (>5.0 mg/L).

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