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Southend airport runoff

By Richard Bessey RAFCC

Thursday, 7 November 2019


RAFCC Contributor


Following up long standing concerns about pollution from airport runways, Ken Wickham has received this update from a senior officer at the Environment Agency.

Aircraft de-icing takes place on stands and a central de-icing pad. This drainage system serving these areas has been designed so that run off containing de-icer is diverted to storage tanks. The airport store and treat this waste water and discharge it to the foul sewer under a consent issued by the local water company. The drainage system currently relies on manual operation of penstocks to divert flow to the containment tanks when de-icer is being applied. To improve management of this aspect of the operation the airport have ordered water quality monitors which they have advised us will be installed shortly along with automated penstock valves. 


Run off from the runway and taxiways is discharged to surrounding watercourses, Eastwood Brook and Prittle Brook via existing outfalls. The airport’s consultant recently advised us that work on a scheme to manage winter run off from the Eastwood Brook outfalls has progressed and a design and build contractor identified. We expect to receive further information on the scheme along with an associated permit application very soon. Work is also currently underway to develop a scheme for run off from the Prittle Brook outfalls. I will keep you updated on this scheme and provide you with details of the permit application once it is received.

[The Environment Agency] will carry out monitoring of the surrounding watercourses over the coming winter.

Contact Information

Richard Bessey

  • 01702 258111


2 Research Cottages, Paglesham Road, Paglesham, Paglesham Eastend, Paglesham, Essex, SS4 2DS