Protecting the Slough

The Port of Portland works closely with airlines to maintain flight safety at Portland International Airport, rain or shine. In the winter, both the airlines and the Port use deicing and anti-icing materials and snowplows to keep planes and runways free of ice and snow.

PDX is situated between the Columbia Slough and Columbia River, so properly managing deicing runoff is essential to protecting neighboring waterways. The Port recently completed a series of enhancements to PDX’s deicing stormwater collection system. The cornerstone of these enhancements is an onsite deicing stormwater treatment facility. The facility is one of the first of its kind in the nation that uses microorganisms to break down deicing solution. Glycol, the primary substance used in deicing operations, is not toxic, but can deplete dissolved oxygen as it breaks down in waterways.

Additional enhancements included more storage capacity for runoff, a new permitted Columbia River outfall and expansion of the area collected within the system to include the west airfield.

Contact:
Susan Aha, Deicing Program Manager, 503.415.6326

Learn More:
PDX Deicing
Columbia Slough Watershed Council