Water is a precious commodity and is available only in limited quantities. Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH aims to use water sparingly as a resource and to avoid harmful impacts on the soil, groundwater, and water bodies in the vicinity of the airport.
The airport company operates technical facilities at Berlin Brandenburg Airport, where substances hazardous to water are stored or used. These include petrol stations, warehouses for operating materials, and lift systems. At BER, aircraft are supplied with fuel mainly through underground pipelines. For the protection of soil and groundwater, these installations are regularly inspected by experts.
The composition of the sanitary water from the terminal and the office buildings, and the waste water from the aircraft toilets, is identical to that of household waste water and is discharged straight into the to the local sewage system. Waste water from restaurants and catering services is pre-treated in grease removal tanks. Waste water from operational areas, such as aircraft maintenance, the special equipment workshop or aircraft cleaning, is intensively pre-treated as required before being discharged with the remaining waste water streams to the Waßmannsdorf treatment plant.
In order to collect and treat the precipitation water, BER maintains an extensive sewerage network as well as numerous pumping stations, retention basins, and treatment plants. The precipitation water of the airport is collected, treated, and discharged separately because of its varying quality.
Rainwater from roofs and areas used by stationary traffic is not contaminated with pollutants and is trickled off as close to the site as possible. Precipitation water from runways, taxiways, and apron taxiways, which may be contaminated with surface de-icing agents in cold temperatures, is pre-treated in winter via a soil filter. In summer, it is usually discharged without pre-treatment into a ditch or trickled off on the company premises.
Precipitation water from the apron areas, where aircraft are refuelled and de-iced, may contain jet fuel and, in winter, aircraft and surface de-icing agents. This water is first pre-treated via interceptors. After that, it always passes through a soil filter, which serves both for intermediate storage and purification of the polluted rainwater. Its cleaning effect is automatically monitored.
If the limit values are complied with, the precipitation water is discharged into the adjacent ditch. If the discharge values of the soil filter are exceeded, the water is pumped to the Waßmannsdorf waste water treatment plant for further treatment.