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EEA 2011 - Airport Glycol Management System
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Engineering Excellence
Engineering Excellence Awards
Wonders of Wisconsin Engineering

Airport Glycol Management System
Mead & Hunt, Inc


Due to extensive growth in operations at Dane County Regional Airport (DCRA), a solution was needed for deicing fluids.

Airports need glycol management systems to store and dispose of stormwater that may contain aircraft deicing fluids. DCRA was using a glycol pond, which stored stormwater until it could be sent to local waterways or a sewer system. The pond needed to be moved to meet Federal Aviation Administration standards. It was also a wildlife hazard.

Mead & Hunt consulted with airport management and airline representatives to design a new system that samples, tests, stores, and discharges stormwater on-site. The facility includes a stormwater collection system, influent pump station, effluent pump station, storage tanks, and associated piping and controls.

This new design is an environmentally sustainable solution. It analyzes water on-site, and then sends clean water to the creek. Less water goes to the treatment plant, lowering costs and waste.

The new system benefits DCRA in many ways. By keeping deicing operations at the gates, airlines and their passengers don’t have to detour for deicing before take-off. The computerized testing and pumping is more efficient and easier to use and maintain. It reduces staff needs and on-site water-testing is done in minutes, instead of days. Thanks to underground storage tanks and the elimination of the glycol pond, the only potentially visible parts of the new system are two new buildings, designed to match other airport facilities.

“Over the years, glycol management at the Dane County Regional Airport has evolved. This latest glycol management system is more efficient, better for the environment, and user friendly,” said Awards Judge Ken Koscik. “Very simply, it is good engineering.”

To avoid potential risk of future failure, Mead & Hunt chose to use tried-and-true pumps and piping to carry water from the apron to the pump stations and creek. The durability of the system means the airport shouldn’t need to update the system for at least 20 years.

The new glycol management system is a success for the client, community, and environment. In addition to keeping the public safe, the system uses new technology to streamline the wastewater process, saving the airport time and money.

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