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Water quality & aircraft de-icing

Through water quality monitoring, de-icing activity management, and hazardous materials spill response programs, we reduce our impact on local waterways.

Water Quality Management Program

Our Water Quality Management Program monitors waterways surrounding Winnipeg Richardson International Airport. Surface water sampling occurs mostly along Omand's Creek and Truro Creek, monitoring dissolved oxygen, pH, nutrients, glycol, heavy metals, hydrocarbon products, and suspended solids.

Runoff from the airport drains mostly via Omand's Creek and Truro Creek. These creeks support several fish species that rely on Assiniboine River tributaries for part of their life cycle. We continuously work to protect these streams long-term.

Aircraft de-icing

During the winter, de-icing / anti-icing fluid is used on aircraft to remove and prevent ice accumulation. Aircraft de-icing / anti-icing is mandated under the Canadian Aviation Regulations.

Winnipeg Airports Authority maintains specialized infrastructure to mitigate any potential impacts from spent aircraft de-icing / anti-icing fluids. WAA constructed a Central De-icing Facility to maximize the recovery of de-icing effluent. The CDF is located mid-airfield and consists of specialized infrastructure to collect, store, treat, and manage de-icing effluent.

De-icing effluent is fully biodegradable through exposure to environmental elements. Two retention ponds are used to temporarily store and naturally degrade de-icing effluent. The ponds are equipped with aerators to enhance the degradation process. Bird deterrent wiring and landscaping are also established to discourage waterfowl from landing, wading, or nesting within the ponds.

An on-site concentration facility is owned and operated by a contracted service provider. The facility concentrates de-icing effluent, which is transported via rail to another airport to be distilled and recertified for re-use as aircraft de-icing / anti-icing fluid.