West Basin demonstrating desalination intake and outfall technologies

One of the first seawater desalination demonstration facilities to employ ocean-protection technology at the source of intake and discharge has begun construction in Southern California, USA.

West Basin Municipal Water District recently started constructing the facility, which is co-located at the Los Angeles Conservation Corps’ SEA Lab education center in Redondo Beach and is part of West Basin’s Water Reliability 2020 initiative to reduce dependence on unreliable imported water use in the South Bay from 66% to 33% by the year 2020.

West Basin’s new demonstration facility is testing ocean abstraction and discharge methods that protect the ocean environment. These include wedgewire screens, seafloor withdrawal simulation and discharged brine dilution and diffusion.

The project will also test plant operation optimization and energy-recovery systems from its reverse-osmosis system.

“We need to develop new locally-controlled water supplies to protect our water future,” stated Gloria D Gray, president of the West Basin board. “After more than 15 years of aggressive conservation and recycled water programs, West Basin is proud to continue its history of water technology innovation by pioneering environmentally responsible ocean-water desalination.”

In addition to the treatment plant, a new Water Education Center is being built inside an unused pump station on the SEA Lab site. The center will teach the importance of water conservation, recycling and ocean protection.

Guests will “see for themselves” the safety of water returning to the ocean with two ocean tanks, one with Santa Monica Bay water and one filled with diluted salt water produced through the purification process. They can also taste-test the high quality desalinated water.

The new Ocean-Water Desalination Demonstration Facility and Water Education Center, currently under construction, will be operational in autumn 2010.