Redondo Beach go-ahead for desalination demonstration plant

The California Coastal Commission approved on 9 April 2009 a seawater desalination project to be undertaken by the West Basin Municipal Water District (WBMWD) at Redondo Beach.

The Temporary Ocean Water Desalination Demonstration Project is a temporary test desalination facility to be constructed and operated by WBMWD to test the feasibility and effectiveness of various types of equipment, including two different screening systems meant to eliminate or reduce adverse effects on marine organisms.

In June 2005, WBMWD was awarded approximately US$ 1.7 million for its desalination program by the California Department of Water Resources under Proposition 50. The goal of the program is to conduct research and develop data for the permitting, design, construction and operation of West Basin’s proposed full-scale desalination facility.

The demonstration facility will employ limited quantities of full-scale equipment to refine operating parameters, perform additional water quality testing, evaluate source intake methodologies and assess energy efficiency. The project will be constructed on a fully developed urban site previously used by Southern California Edison and AES Corporation.

The facility would withdraw up to 580,000 gal/d (2,195 m³/d) of seawater through an intake formerly used by the AES power plant and now used by SEALab, a marine life education center, which draws in up to about 324,000 gal/d. It would then separate, test, and recombine the water before discharging it back through a power plant outfall into the ocean near King Harbor.