Heathrow Airport Hits Environmental Milestone

  • The company that made these environmental changes to Heathrow Airport
  • What changes were made to the airport (treatment plants..etc)

Veolia Water Technologies UK (VWT UK) has recently completed a pioneering glycol removal plant at Heathrow Airport, the first of its kind to treat glycol in this application in the UK, helping the airport reach an important environmental milestone. VWT UK was selected due to its expertise in water treatment technologies and services – and for the cost-effective, yet bespoke solution its experienced team put forward.

The aim of the project was to provide a biological wastewater treatment plant to treat the glycol runoff from the airport runways prior to its discharge into the river Crane. An organic compound from the alcohol family, glycol is commonly found in antifreeze solutions and, as such, is used as a de-icer on aircrafts during the winter months. The plant also has space to increase the hydraulic capacity with the addition of a third MBBR system, should it be required by Heathrow in the future.

“Working with Veolia Water Technologies on this project has been great,” the Heathrow project team commented. “We had some testing conditions and difficult situations early on during the project but the Veolia project team really turned site performance around.”

“We hope that in 2021 this is a technology that we can provide elsewhere as we have already had a lot of interest from other operators around Europe who are looking to improve the environmental credentials of their airport sites. We expect they will be watching the outcomes of the Heathrow plant closely.”


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