SAN DIEGO — Thousands of gallons of stormwater runoff was captured by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority last year to be reused in sustainability efforts.

How was it used?

The water, which would otherwise have run off into San Diego Bay, was repurposed to heat and cool buildings at the San Diego International Airport. These efforts, as explained by SAN in a press release, reduced the amount of potable water used for indoor temperature control.

How does it work?

The Stormwater Reuse Treatment System captures stormwater from the top of the Terminal 2 Parking Plaza and stores it in underground pipes with about 100,000 gallons of capacity, said SAN officials. The captured water is then treated through a series of filters and ultraviolet light, then pumped to a central utility plant for use in the cooling towers that heat, ventilate and air condition SAN’s terminals and jet bridges.

“Through the capturing and reusing of stormwater, the Airport Authority can meet strict stormwater pollution prevention regulations by keeping stormwater on-site rather than discharging to San Diego Bay,” said Airport Authority President & CEO, Kimberly Becker. “In addition, capturing and reusing supports the Airport Authority’s sustainability goals to reduce potable water use for non-potable purposes and most importantly to be good environmental stewards.”

More information on the the Airprot Authority’s Storm Water Management Plan, which outlines the organization’s efforts to help prevent, eliminate and reduce the discharge of polluted stormwater into the San Diego Bay, can he found here.

SAN said the Airport Authority’s Stormwater Reuse Treatment System has captured, treated and
reused more than 5 million gallons of stormwater since the program started in 2018.