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)

An inside look at PDX's deicing treatment facility

by Lisa Timmerman 8/29/2012 3:29 PM

Are you curious about how Portland International Airport handles deicing operations in the winter? Have you driven by our new facility on NE 33rd Ave. and wondered what exactly happens there? As we head into the fall and winter months, we are opening our doors to the public and other interested parties to learn more about our new deicing treatment facility.

The Port of Portland designed the enhanced system in partnership with air carriers and regulatory agencies to better protect water quality in the Columbia Slough. The entire project is part of an agreement with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to ensure the Port meets environmental regulations for deicing operations while maintaining safe airport operations.

The enhanced system features on-site anaerobic treatment, one of only three facilities of its kind in the nation. Major construction of the facility was completed last fall and the Port went through a seven-month start-up testing process during winter and spring of 2011-12 to ensure the system operated as designed. That process was completed in April 2012 and the system is now fully operational.

For an inside look, join us for a guided facility tour on Tuesday, Sept. 18. Tours will occur every half hour between 5 and 7 p.m. at our facility on 10150 NE 33rd Dr. in Portland. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.

PDX Deicing Treatment Facility Ranks Third in Regional Competition

by Annie Linstrom 6/1/2012 11:51 AM

Port of Portland’s deicing treatment facility at Portland International Airport won third place among 99 other projects in the Daily Journal of Commerce’s annual TopProjects competition.

PDX’s new 12,000-square-foot, on-site deicing treatment facility was recognized for its excellence and ingenuity in Public Works - Infrastructure and Transportation enhancements to facilitate the capture of stormwater runoff from the airport’s ramps and runways. The enhanced airport deicing system collects and monitors stormwater runoff on the airport’s 2,000 acres, nearly doubling its capacity for housing and treatment. Its eco-friendly use of anaerobic fluidized bed biological reactors to help break down deicing material is also a noteworthy system function.

DJC’s TopProjects encourages organizations that create public works, transportation and renovation projects in Oregon and Washington to enter to win the most outstanding building project of the year, among other awards. Since its inception, the competition has become an industry tradition.

Features of the new facility include a new 3-million gallon concentrated runoff storage tank, two 6.5 million gallon dilute runoff storage tanks, three pump stations, and more than six miles of underground piping, with an outfall to the Columbia River. 

Related links:

DJCs 2012 TopProjects - Winners

PDX Deicing Treatment Facility - Contest Submission by JE Dunn Construction

Is It Spring Yet? No? Then Let’s Talk Deicing

by Rachel Wray 4/26/2011 2:48 PM

Portland spring hasn’t really sprung yet, so it might seem premature to think ahead to next winter. However, the Portland International Airport deicing team is hard at work on a project that will go into an important test phase this fall.

The deicing system enhancement project is a multi-year effort to expand the system that captures and manages runoff from aircraft and runway deicing during wintry conditions. Major construction on the project ended this spring, so now the team is turning its attention to the operation of the new system components. One piece of this is commissioning a new anaerobic reactor that will treat runoff containing deicing fluid. How are we doing this? By feeding tiny microorganisms to help them grow and reproduce within the system so that when the treatment facility is turned on in the fall, the microorganisms are ready to eat – and accordingly break down – glycol, the active and biodegradable ingredient in deicing material.

Learn more about the project in a new videocast just added to the Port’s website!