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70 percent of deicing fluid recycled at DIA

The airport estimates snow removal crews will use 5,000 gallons of deicing fluid on planes throughout Wednesday. DIA spokesperson Heath Montgomery says the airport will eventually recycle most of the fluid that ends up on the tarmac.
Denver International Airport recycles excess deicing fluid at an on-site facility

DENVER – During heavy snowfall, Denver International Airport tries to make every drop of deicing fluid count.

The airport estimates snow removal crews will use 145,000 gallons of deicing fluid on planes a day during snow storms. DIA spokesperson Heath Montgomery says the airport will eventually recycle most of the fluid that ends up on the tarmac.

Montgomery says airlines use up to 100 gallons per aircraft, and DIA has about 1,450 flights a day on average.

Excess deicing fluid travels through a series of pipes into 13 ponds at the airport. Once the ponds fill up, the deicing fluid is recycled at an on-site facility. Montgomery says the ponds can hold up to 70 million gallons of liquid.

"Last year, DIA sprayed a total of 1.8 million gallons of deicing fluid. We were able to capture an industry-leading 70 percent of that fluid, which is really among the best in the entire world," Montgomery said.

Montgomery says DIA saves about $2 million a year recycling deicing fluid, as opposed to the cost of treating the excess fluid as wastewater. Recycled deicing fluid is used in a variety of products, including windshield washer fluid.

*Editor's Note: Originally, this report said DIA used 5,000 gallons, but that was just in reference to Wednesday night alone.**

(KUSA-TV © 2015 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)