Environmental Operations

DTW Aircraft Deicing Fluid (ADF) Management System

  • DTW operates the largest ADF management system in the world. DTW has recycled more propylene glycol – PG (the primary component of ADF) than any airport in the world eight of the past ten deicing seasons. 
  • The DTW drainage system is constructed to completely separate aircraft deicing runoff from general airport stormwater runoff. All aircraft deicing runoff is either recycled or treated at a sanitary sewage treatment plant. The three attached pie charts display the fate of DTW ADF. As shown, an extremely small percentage of applied ADF is discharged to surface water. 
  • Recycled PG is used in the production of plastics and paints. 

DTW Stormwater Detention System

  • The DTW stormwater system had the capacity to detain more stormwater than is detained at any other North American airport, ~515 million gallons.  This is the equivalent to the water contained in 750 Olympic-sized swimming pools. 
  • This system is operated so that stormwater generated during large rain and snow melt events is contained in ponds located on DTW property and then slowly released to streams near the airport. This reduces the frequency and severity of downstream flooding. 
  • The DTW stormwater system, when empty, can contain a 4.5 inch runoff event. 
  • DTW has spent more than $125 million on stormwater and deicing system improvements since 1990, including the construction of four remote deicing pads. 

Green House Gas Reduction

  • DTW has reduced its Green House Gas emissions by more than 11% over the past five years. This is equivalent to the amount of GHG emitted from driving a typical car 6,500,000 miles (256 times around the world). 
  • Additional GHG reductions are anticipated when the DTW Powerhouse modifications are completed. 

Dilute Deicing Fluid Discharge to the Downriver Wastewater Treatment Facility

  • DTW discharges all spent aircraft deicing fluid runoff that cannot be recycled to the Downriver Wastewater Treatment Facility located in Wyandotte, Michigan. This discharge is a significant element in maintain compliance with the DTW NPDES permit. 
  • DTW has been awarded the “Zero Violations Club” award for nine of the past ten years. 

Maintenance of Endangered Species Areas

  • The WCAA maintains four Endangered Species Areas (EDS) at DTW.  Two of these are located at DTW and two are located at Crosswinds Marsh in Sumpter Township.  Prescribed burns and other management activities are routinely conducted in these areas. 
  • Clearing and management activities at one of the two DTW EDS areas are done in conjunction with a group of local high school students.