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Award-Winning STV Water Project Facilitates Future Growth at Charlotte Airport

Dec 21, 2021
CLT Sewer Improvements

A $6 million project to install nearly a half mile of new sanitary sewers to support the planned expansion of Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT Airport) won a prestigious Grand Award for Engineering Excellence from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of North Carolina.

Sanitary Sewer Improvements on Rental Car Road at Charlotte Douglas International Airport won in the Special Projects category and qualifies for ACEC’s National Engineering Excellence Awards which will be announced in May.

STV performed design services for this program, which was initiated to address a major expansion at CLT Airport. Over the next 20 years, airport traffic is expected to increase by 2.5 percent annually with a projection of more than 80 million passengers a year by 2040. Considering each passenger uses an estimated 4.3 gallons of water (data by flow monitoring), the airport needed to increase its sewer capacity to accommodate the demand.

“This was a very complex project and we worked closely with our partners at CLT Airport and Charlotte Water to come up with a solution that meets their needs now and well into the future,” said STV Project Manager Xiaolin “Martin” Deng, P.E. “Our team developed a design, that, through the use of trenchless technology, enabled the installation of 2,300 linear feet of new sewer line under an active aircraft ramp, beneath highly congested airport access roads and parking lots, and in close proximity to the main terminal, all without disrupting airport operations.”

In total, the design called for seven trenchless crossings to permit the installation of sanitary sewer lines sized from 8 to 18 inches to carry sewage to an existing 24-inch sewer interceptor. The program included the installation of 300 linear feet of 48-inch diameter steel casing bored 38 feet deep to tie into a six-foot manhole in the middle of an airport ramp.

In addition to the design, STV also performed modeling, permitting, and construction administration services for the project. Over the two-year program, continuous vehicular access to the airport and the Federal Aviation Administration control tower was maintained with no disruption to aircraft operations.

For more information about STV awards, visit