Southwest Airlines Maintenance Hangar at William P. Hobby International Airport (HOU)

May 21, 2020

As a part of an expansion at an airport maintenance hangar, underground watertight tanks were needed to capture contaminated runoff. A DuroMaxx® SRPE tank solution was selected.

Southwest Airlines officially added a new 240,000-square-foot maintenance complex to its facilities at William P. Hobby International Airport (HOU) on January 8, 2020 in Houston, Texas. The maintenance facility, Southwest’s largest maintenance facility to-date, will service the airline’s growing operation at Hobby Airport, which includes almost 200 departures per day during peak seasons to nearly 70 destinations across the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean.

As a part of this expansion, underground watertight tanks were needed to capture contaminated runoff from the Southwest Airlines maintenance facility. In the event of a fire, the chemical used in the suppression system to retard and put out the fire is not permitted to drain into standard storm drain systems. Therefore, the rainwater runoff after such an event (and drainage during clean up) must be contained in a watertight system, pumped out, and sent to a proper treatment facility.

In addition to the need for containment of aqueous film forming foam (AFFF) runoff, the tank system would also need to be aircraft load rated. DuroMaxx® steel reinforced PE (SRPE), manufactured by Contech Engineered Solutions LLC, provided a solution. The final storage system design included four (4), large 120-inch diameter tanks, each 98 LF and welded joints that provided the strength to handle the necessary loading requirements as well as the desired storage, providing 54,572 gallons of storage.

Alternative solutions were considered, but a cast-in-place concrete vault system would have required more time to construct, requiring the assembly of forms, steel rebar, pouring, curing, striping, and water proofing. The DuroMaxx SRPE system was more cost-effective and also saved valuable construction time. Ferguson Waterworks worked directly with the contractor, McCarthy Building Company, to supply the final solution.

Additionally, Contech provided structural calculations and installation estimates to help the engineer better analyze the best long-term containment tanks for the site. DuroMaxx meets Buy American requirements and is approved by the FAA and has been used in various applications for multiple commercial and military airports around the U.S.

Ultimately, Contech reduced the cost of the system to meet financial requirements, provided a reliable system with ease of installation, and supported the contractors throughout the entire installation process.

Editor's Note: Scranton Gillette Communications and the SGC Water Group are not liable for the accuracy, efficacy and validity of the claims made in this piece. The views expressed in this content do not reflect the position of the editorial teams of Water & Wastes Digest, Water Quality Products and Storm Water Solutions.