Prague Airport has long sought to limit the negative impact of its operations on surface water and groundwater. Close attention is paid to pre-treatment and wastewater treatment systems, chemical substance and aviation fuel storage facilities, the handling of harmful substances and the protection of streams during torrential rains. Chemical treatment of runways and taxi ways as well as aircraft de-icing are activities closely connected with the water protection issue.
Prague Airport supplies Prague/Ruzyně airport with drinking water, secures industrial wastewater and rainwater drainage by compartmentalised drainage system connected to wastewater treatment plants in both the NORTH and the SOUTH areas of the airport and then to the final recipients, i.e. the Kopaninský and Únětický streams.
All activities performed at Prague/Ruzyně airport are aimed at minimising the risk the leakage of pollutants (primarily oil) into the ground and consecutively into the groundwater.
Groundwater quality at Prague/Ruzyně airport premises and in surrounding areas is regularly monitored via a network of approximately 50 hydrogeological boreholes – some drilled in the 1960s and 1970, the rest during the recent hydrogeological exploratory work.
The majority of boreholes are included in the groundwater quality monitoring system.
The key to protecting the quality of surface water are functional wastewater treatment plants in adequate capacity. Prague Airport operates two wastewater treatment plants - a contaminated rainwater treatment plant (CRTP) and a sewage water treatment plant (SWTP): one for the NORTH area and one for the SOUTH.
Prague/Ruzyně airport premises are drained into the Kopaninský and Únětický streams, both very low in water contents. Therefore, the quality of drained water is very closely monitored.
The size of the retention tanks and the ways the Únětický and the Kopaninský streams are influenced by the water drained from Prague/Ruzyně airport are topics continuously discussed. Already in 2002, a Study was drafted on the drainage ratios within the Prague/Ruzyně airport area, evaluating the entire airport area in a hydrotechnical manner pursuant to the General Drainage Methodology of the capital city of Prague. This study has been regularly updated.
Polders, dry retention tanks to collect excessive water during torrential rains, were built in the past to reduce the of peak flow rates and to protect the villages downstream against negative impact of high flow rates. Kopaninský polder with the capacity of 68,250m3 covers the airport SOUTH area, while the Tuchoměřický polder with the capacity of 50,000m3 covers the airport NORTH area.