Deicing program gets warm reception

by Lisa Timmerman 2/22/2013 3:09 PM

The Port of Portland was honored with an Environmental Achievement Award at the annual Slough Celebration, put on by the Columbia Slough Watershed Council. The award recognizes Portland International Airport's deicing program for its efforts to provide greater protection to the Columbia Slough water quality.

The Port installed PDX's original deicing collection system in 2003, which used a combination of monitoring, collection, treatment and controlled release of deicing stormwater runoff to the slough and City of Portland sanitary system. Though deicing material does not contain toxic substances, when it is released in large volumes and begins to biodegrade, it can cause increases in biological oxygen demand, which can be harmful to fish. When low flows in the slough contributed to permit exceedances, the Port sought out more aggressive options for treating deicing stormwater runoff. The Port constructed an on-site deicing treatment facility, one of only three of its kind in the nation, that uses microorganisms to break down deicing solution. The newly constructed facility completed a successful commissioning period in April 2012 and is now fully operational for the 2012-2013 winter season.

The Port's deicing program was nominated by Nancy Hendrickson, Columbia Slough watershed manager for the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services. The Port has been involved with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for many years.

Bruce McClelland, Port of Portland deicing operations manager describes the significant benefits of the deicing program enhancements.

Receiving the Environmental Achievement Award; From left: Nancy Hendrickson, Columbia Slough watershed manager for the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Jane Van Dyke, Columbia Slough Watershed Council executive director and the Port deicing program team - George Seaman, engineering project manager, Susan Aha, deicing program manager, Larry McClure, deicing system specialist and Bruce McClelland, deicing operations manager.

(Photos courtesy of Kenny MacDonald and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council)