The main airport in Grand Rapids is proposing to build a new system to prevent the buildup of a bacterial film in a nearby river. The system would be the first of its kind at airports in Michigan.
In the winter, airplanes across the state are sprayed down with a fluid to prevent the buildup of snow and ice.
At Gerald R. Ford International Airport, roughly a third of that de-icing fluid makes its way into a small creek nearby. Bacteria in the creek can easily break down the fluid but they create a smelly film in the process.
The state considers the bio-slime a nuisance, not a human health risk. But it does deplete the oxygen, choking out aquatic life.