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American Airlines

Year Submitted: 2006

Process: Wastewater Treatment

Industry: Aircraft Maintenance

Wastes Reduced: Water

Location: Fort Worth TX

No. of employees: 500

Contact: Bill O'Neil

Phone: 817/224-0343


The Industrial Wastewater Plant was designed for treatment of VOC, oil/grease, and heavy metals from the various aircraft maintenance processes. The discharge of this plant has continuously met the City of Fort Worth's permit levels but was only suitable for cleaning the tanks and washing the floor at the plant. The operators of the plant felt the need to conserve our natural resources, especially in summer when the area's resources are being depleted. After identifying possible areas of reuse (aircraft wash, Boiler blow down cooling, cooling tower make-up, process rinse water tank make-up, sand filter backwash, land irrigation, etc.) meters were added where needed, log books and data programs were created to collect and calculate all needed information. With proven environmental need and cost effectiveness the capital was approved to start up the Pilot RO (Reverse Osmosis) System. Creative changes were made throughout the plant to control high levels of phosphates, calcium, and conductivity. By 1998 the operators of the IWTP were producing a quality reuse product at 100gpm and feeding the Aircraft Wash Facility, and the boiler blow down cooling water. In 1999 we obtained a reuse permit for land irrigation. By 2002 the pilot RO system was expanded to a 500-gallon a minute system and the distribution system was expanded to feed the additional areas on the base.

P2 Application:

With the waste stream quality varying daily the effluent from the plant is directly fed to the RO system. The unique use of flow control valves and variable drives allow flows to be matched throughout the systems. Innovative water management and redesign of controls and piping allow for multiple combinations of use of tanks, chemical injection and distribution systems. Completed at 50% less cost than original design.

  • Total Cost Savings: $983,262.00
  • Comments: Original investment in project was $760,000. 2002-2005 combined annual savings through water reuse and subsequent discharge savings were $983,262.34.

Details of Reductions

  • 234,633,040.0 - Gallons of   Water discharge
    Comments: This project has allowed American Airlines to conserve water (45% reduction in 2004) from the area's drought prone reservoirs. Provides a safe and inexpensive treatment facility for Texas generators to recycle their wastewater, and help curb illegal discharging of hydrocarbon contaminated wastewater. Also the decreased discharges reduces the pollutant loading of the local municipal sewage plant and allows the municipal plant to delay expansion to process more wastewater from the expanding suburbs.
Source: TCEQ

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