The National Academies

ACRP 02-87 [Completed]

Determining Airfield Pavement Deicer and Anti-Icer Contributions to Airport Stormwater

  Project Data
Funds: $350,000
Research Agency: Limno-Tech, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Chris Cieciek
Effective Date: 6/1/2018
Completion Date: 12/31/2020


ACRP Project 02-61 identified and ranked research needs related to airport stormwater management. One of the conclusions of this review was that the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permit compliance requirements increasingly include pavement deicer constituents in stormwater discharges. As controls on aircraft deicing runoff have become more widespread and effective, focus on the relative contribution and influence of pavement deicing runoff has increased. Yet airports face significant challenges when attempting to parse out the relative contribution of airfield deicers, because the sources contributing to oxygen demand (i.e., biochemical oxygen demand [BOD] and chemical oxygen demand [COD]) cannot be easily measured. Airports therefore need a method to determine the contribution of pavement deicers and anti-icers to the total oxygen demand in stormwater.
The objective of this research is to develop a method to estimate the contributions of airfield pavement deicers and anti-icers to overall oxygen demand (BOD and COD) in stormwater discharges.
The method should:
  • Account for sources, fate and transport of airfield pavement deicers and anti-icers;
  • Identify and quantify airfield pavement deicers and anti-icers contained in discharged waters;
  • Account for contributions from other non-airfield pavement-related deicers and anti-icing activities;
  • Be adaptable to background water chemistry, various geographies, airport configurations, soils, topography, climate, weather, and hydrology;
  • Be scalable to levels of resource availability (e.g., data, time, money, personnel, expertise); and
  • Produce output expressed as a percentage of overall BOD and COD attributable to airfield pavement deicers and anti-icers with levels of confidence, and identify uncertainties.
The ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. The work proposed must be divided into tasks, and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task in detail.
The research plan should include, at a minimum, an interim report that describes work done in early tasks, including a framework for a recommended method and rationale, a method verification plan, and a method usability assessment plan.
The research plan should also include, at a minimum, the following checkpoints with the ACRP project panel: (1) kick-off conference call to be held within 1 month of contract execution to discuss the amplified work plan, (2) interim meeting to review the results of the interim report, and (3) an additional conference call/web meeting to be scheduled at the project panel’s discretion.
The final deliverables will include the following:
1. Technical report that provides:
  • Method to estimate the contributions of airfield pavement deicers and anti-icers on overall oxygen demand (BOD and COD) discharged to receiving waters;
  • Documentation of all aspects of the research;
  • Primer that includes a literature review, a discussion of airfield deicing and anti-icing contributions to oxygen demand and the relationship between BOD and COD, related regulatory issues, and potential data sources for method inputs;
  • Dissemination plan and future research needs; and
  • User guide for method with examples.
2. Stand-alone technical memorandum titled, “Implementation of Research Findings and Products".


Research is complete.  The contractor's report is available upon request.

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