Tri-Cities Airport to Use Worms as Organic Method to Treat Aircraft Deicing Fluid

Tri-Cities Airport to Use Worms as Organic Method to Treat Aircraft Deicing Fluid

Pasco, WA – Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) is pleased to partner with BioFiltro for an exciting pilot program that will study the effectiveness of worm-powered wastewater treatment on airport deicing wastewater. Deicing is critical for aircraft in the winter months, but deicing fluids are predominantly made of ethylene glycol, propylene glycol, and other ingredients that are potentially dangerous for the environment if not properly collected and disposed.

Tri-Cities Airport traditionally collects its deicing wastewater and disposes it through the Pasco Wastewater Treatment Facility. However, as airline activity increases at PSC, the airport is getting ahead of potential deicing disposal problems by employing BioFiltro to treat their wastewater onsite before discharging, while also boosting their sustainability by choosing a natural, low-tech, low-input, and energy efficient treatment system.

“It sounds strange to use worms to treat deicing fluid, but we’re excited to tap into this innovative, sustainable way to manage a necessary aviation product,” said Buck Taft, Airport Director. “We hope this pilot program will be a success story for the entire aviation industry.”

The pilot unit is 90 square feet of BioFiltro’s patented Biodynamic Aerobic (BIDA) system to treat a portion of Tri-Cities deicing wastewater for a 180-day period. BioFiltro’s BIDA system consists of a bed of wood shavings that are rich in earthworm and microbial activity. The worms serve many functions in the system, including aerating, turning nutrients into vermicompost or worm castings, and maintaining the biofilm that is essential to biological wastewater treatment. After the pilot period, BioFiltro and Tri-Cities Airport plan to explore a full-scale system that will lead the aviation industry to a new standard for turning deicing fluid into clean water and natural fertilizer.

About BioFiltro

BioFiltro is a wastewater treatment company based in Davis, Calif., with a patented, worm-powered filtration system that naturally removes up to 99% of contaminants in four hours. A carbon neutral company, BioFiltro offers climate-smart, nature-based environmental solutions to industries and communities of all sizes. Their systems specialize in the removal of organic matter, nutrients and salts, the most commonly regulated and enforced wastewater constituents.

About the Airport

Tri-Cities Airport (PSC) is the largest airport in the Southeastern Washington and Northeastern Oregon region

and the third largest air carrier airport in the state of Washington. With connections to several major hubs, the

airport is served by Alaska, Allegiant, American, Avelo, Delta, and United airlines. For more information about the airport, visit or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.