San Diego International Airport

San Diego Airport Captures Rainwater to Prevent Pollution

The airport recently installed one of the region’s largest storm water capture systems

As rain continues in the county, the San Diego International Airport is doing its part to prevent pollution of the ocean and bay. 

When heavy rain comes, much of it runs off into bodies of water, adding to pollution problems. The airport recently installed one of the region’s largest storm water capture systems. 

The new system captures rain that falls on the Terminal 2 Parking Plaza, so that it can be recycled and put to good use. 

The water is diverted to the Central Utility Plant, where it is used in place of potable water in the airport's cooling systems. 

"There's no reason to put drinking water through our cooling tower if we can find another source," said Richard Gilb, manager of environmental affairs for the San Diego International Airport. "So we figured, let's try storm water." 

The system has collected more than 600,000 gallons of rainwater since it was fully installed and running in the fall, Gilb added. 

"If we get the 10 inches of rain San Diego normally gets, we have the potential to capture two million gallons of rainwater a year," said Gilb. 

It is an example of the many steps the airport has been taking recently with the environment in mind.

In September, the airport was recognized as a sustainability leader after making efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.The airport terminals also utilize solar energy. 

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