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Water protection

The airport has at its disposal a drainage system more then 60 kilometres in length, of which no fewer than 51 kilometres are allocated to the rain and combined waste water network. To prevent the uncontrolled leakage of any waste water into the soil and thus into the ground water, the sewerage network is regularly checked and any damage repaired. 

RainfallRainfall on the public roads and areas at the airport is fed into the municipal sewerage network. Rainfall on the aprons and the rail system flows in the first instance through sewers with storage and overflow capacity into storm water sedimentation tanks where volatile liquid filters  separate out and retain potential contamination by fuel, oil or kerosene. .
Rainfall on the aprons and the rail system
When aircraft are de-iced, waste water with varying concentrations of de-icing agents is produced. As is the case with all other waste water from the aprons, this water also flows via sewers with storage and overflow capacity into storm water sedimentation tanks (see Rainfall) before being released into the Kittelbach river. Since the release of large amounts of de-icing agents into the Kittelbach is not permitted, in the winter months the waste water is analysed against the Total Organic Carbon (TOC) chemical parameters. The TOC content is continuously measured online at all sedimentation tanks. If the safety limit of 40 mg/l is exceeded, the waste water is automatically released not into the Kittelbach, but into the municipal foul water sewerage network.    

Other foul water

So-called combined waste water comes exclusively from the areas of the GAT (General Aviation Terminal) and the workshops, and the rain and foul water flow together into the municipal foul water sewerage network. The foul water produced in the terminal areas is also fed into the municipal sewerage network. 

Ground water monitoring

Annual checks are carried out to test the quality of the ground water. This involves taking samples at 23 of the 41 ground water test points, all located on the site of Düsseldorf Airport, and examining these samples against set parameters. Checks are made at the remaining ground water test points as need arises. The quality control is carried out on the one hand with regard to the regulations on safe drinking water, on the other hand checks are undertaken on specific levels such as hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons

Fire service working for the environment

In the case of accidents involving materials which are hazardous to water, the fire service deploys its specialist environmental vehicle, equipped, amongst other things, with oil binding agents, pumps and containers to absorb liquid and solid material. The primary aim in such engagements is to prevent a spread of the escaped material, using special binding agents in powder or liquid form. In addition, sewers, inspection chambers and drainage pipes can be blocked off to prevent the spread of materials which are hazardous to water. 


<strong>Volatile liquid filters: an integral part of water treatment plants, in which materials lighter than water are retained. Waste water must be treated before it can be released into a water course.

De-icing: ice on a jet's wings or tail assembly changes the air flow on take off and also results in an undesirable increase in weight. Bits of ice and snow which break off can get into the tail mechanisms or damage the tail assembly. To avoid these dangers, aircraft are treated in winter before take off with environmentally friendly, non-toxic anti-freeze or de-icing agents.

Total Organic Carbon (TOC): TOC means ‘Total Organic Carbon' and indicates the proportion of organic carbon in the waste water constituents.

Hydrocarbons (HCs) are a component in propellants, for example.

Chlorinated hydrocarbons (CHCs) are contained in cleaning agents for the removal of grease, for example.

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a component in all combustion processes