Houston Airports prides itself on taking a proactive approach to its utility needs. Water is an indispensable necessity at George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and a thorough understanding of the water systems that need to be upgraded, replaced, and repaired is essential to smooth and continuous operations at one of the nation’s busiest airports.
The IAH Terminal Redevelopment Program continues to take major steps forward and its Enabling Utilities Landside (EUL) Program is one of those major steps. The long-planned for EUL project was approved by the Houston City Council in February 2019.
Now, according to Michael Lawrence, ITRP Project Manager for the EUL, the time has come to undertake the important work.
“The intent of the project is to improve the water pressure and capacity of the Public Water System (PWS) supply and delivery system within the airport’s Central Terminal Area to increase reliability and prevent water pressure problems and water shortages in the terminals.” Lawrence said.
The project's first phase involves traffic lane modifications near the Terminal A arrivals curbside and a lane shift at Terminal B on North Terminal Rd. (NTR), beginning the night of July 20, 2022.
The waterline portion of the project on NTR is fully under construction and will continue through October 20, 2022. Increased curbside and roadway traffic management support teams will be on location for the entirety of the project to keep the traffic flowing.
The aging public water system at the airport will be replaced to improve water pressure, capacity, and overall reliability in the airport’s terminals. The new water system will work in conjunction with the Public Water System but will also have the capability to be isolated from the City of Houston’s water system during emergencies, allowing the airport’s water system to run independently in case of low water pressure or increased water needs at the airport.
With the water system upgrade, Bush Airport will have a reliable and resilient system that can sustain operations during major failures of off-airport waterlines. With the additions of 2.4 million-gallons of new capacity in above-ground potable water storage tanks, a new 2,000-gallon per minute (GPM) water well, 5,000 feet of new waterlines and a new 4,500 GPM pumping station, Bush Airport will greatly increase its self-sustainability.
Other features of the EUL project include construction of the west triturator. A triturator is a small sanitary facility located airside that processes wastewater from aircraft and is essentially a waste grinder inside a well that allows for easy dumping by aircraft service vehicles.