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Soil and water

Discharges to water take place primarily in the winter when the aircraft and runways are de-iced for aviation safety reasons.

Aircraft are de-iced using propylene glycol. The runways are primarily cleared by mechanical means – with snow-ploughs, rotating sweepers, snow-blowers and gritters. If this is not sufficient, potassium acetate is used. Urea too is used for de-icing for reasons of aviation safety in particularly difficult weather conditions. These substances have low toxic levels, are easily biodegraded in nature but have a high oxygen consumption rate during their breakdown. They may therefore cause oxygen deficiency in watercourses and in the water table if there are large-scale discharges.

The glycol that remains on the soil when an aircraft is de-iced is collected and emptied into a leak-proof pond, from where it is sent to the Svedala treatment plant where it is used as a carbon source in its filtration processes.

The storm-water from the airport apron is processed in an aerated holding pond located near the approach road to the aircraft. In this aerated pond, any residual acetate and glycol are broken down to avoid oxygen deficiency in creeks and brooks downstream from the airport. The holding pond also serves as a settling tank for particulate-rich heavy metals and as an oil trap.