In an airport’s operational area, run-off water represents a significant environmental threat since they can contain aviation fuel oil, chemicals from the washing and cleaning of aircraft and airport service equipment and chemicals from the use of de/anti-icing agents.
Therefore, it is essential for airports to monitor levels of pollutants emitted into surface water runoff on a continuous basis. Legislative requirements concerning the protection of the water environment in the UK include the Environmental Protection Act, the Water Resources Act and Groundwater Regulations in England and Wales, and the Water Framework Directive in European legislation.
There are also many pieces of regional policy which seek to manage water resources and water quality and reduce any impacts from the discharges of pollutants into the water environment.
In the UK, the Environment Agency issue consents and discharge permits to regulate the discharge of effluent into controlled waters. Airports have to comply with a range of legislation in terms of the environmental effects that they generate. Failure to do so could see them prosecuted.