Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Let's fill some swimming pools!

Desalination plant opens in Carlsbad

A 72” intake pipe sucks seawater into the system
A 72” intake pipe sucks seawater into the system

“Now serving Pacific on Tap” was the slogan of the day December 14, when the San Diego County Water Authority announced the full operation of the largest desalination plant in the Western hemisphere.

In actuality, 1.8 billion gallons of desalinated water had already entered the San Diego County supply system since testing was completed the week of November 8.

Poseidon Water has been planning the plant since the Clinton administration. Initially local water agencies and governments were skeptical of a private firm providing a basic government service. Some opposed the idea.

“Over the years, we won them over,” said Poseidon’s Peter MacLaggan. “We were willing to take all the risk. If we couldn’t deliver the product, we wouldn’t get paid.... There are no public obligations [bonded debt].”

The oceanfront Carlsbad site was chosen due to its already existing industrial use by the NRG power plant and its close proximity to distribution. The desalinated water is first pumped to a county water authority pipeline in San Marcos. “We can reach 80 percent of water users from there,” said MacLaggan.

The average water district will pay about $5 more per month, per customer, for the water. “We are no longer totally dependent on snow in the Sierras and rain up north,” said Mark Weston, chairman of the water authority. Weston also pointed out that the Poseidon plant and its distribution is far south of major earthquake faults that could potentially disrupt the water supply coming in from outside the county.

The 72” intake pipe sucks seawater into the sand-filtration system, a flocculation tank. Then 214 filters remove any microscopic particles. Over 2000 pumps transfer the treated water into 16,000 large reverse-osmosis filters. (Protec Arisaw America, in Vista, manufactured the large membranes.) Half the seawater sucked into the system is returned to the ocean, flushing the removed salt. Poseidon claims that 500 to 1000 feet from the outlet, tests cannot detect high salinity in the water.

Officials said the plant was already pumping at full capacity, expected to deliver its daily 50-million-gallon output, equaling 10 percent of the county’s needs.

“It serves about 400,000 people. Our pipeline flow could fill a residential swimming pool in 40 seconds,” said MacLaggan.

Poseidon now has a proposal for a similar plant in Huntington Beach.

During a morning tour before the ceremony, members of the press were offered a drink of the desalinated water. It tasted as good as any bottled water. Unfortunately, as with all of our tap-water supply, the desalinated water will be treated with bacteria-killing chlorine and other chemicals by local water districts before residential delivery.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Pepper covers Sublime for The House That Bradley Built comp

Hirie, G. Love, the Expanders, Common Kings, the Skints, Long Beach Dub Allstars, and Trevor Young also contribute
Next Article

Ocean Beach trash altruist

Cameron Reid covers Niagara and Narragansett, Sunset Cliffs to Abbott.
A 72” intake pipe sucks seawater into the system
A 72” intake pipe sucks seawater into the system

“Now serving Pacific on Tap” was the slogan of the day December 14, when the San Diego County Water Authority announced the full operation of the largest desalination plant in the Western hemisphere.

In actuality, 1.8 billion gallons of desalinated water had already entered the San Diego County supply system since testing was completed the week of November 8.

Poseidon Water has been planning the plant since the Clinton administration. Initially local water agencies and governments were skeptical of a private firm providing a basic government service. Some opposed the idea.

“Over the years, we won them over,” said Poseidon’s Peter MacLaggan. “We were willing to take all the risk. If we couldn’t deliver the product, we wouldn’t get paid.... There are no public obligations [bonded debt].”

The oceanfront Carlsbad site was chosen due to its already existing industrial use by the NRG power plant and its close proximity to distribution. The desalinated water is first pumped to a county water authority pipeline in San Marcos. “We can reach 80 percent of water users from there,” said MacLaggan.

The average water district will pay about $5 more per month, per customer, for the water. “We are no longer totally dependent on snow in the Sierras and rain up north,” said Mark Weston, chairman of the water authority. Weston also pointed out that the Poseidon plant and its distribution is far south of major earthquake faults that could potentially disrupt the water supply coming in from outside the county.

The 72” intake pipe sucks seawater into the sand-filtration system, a flocculation tank. Then 214 filters remove any microscopic particles. Over 2000 pumps transfer the treated water into 16,000 large reverse-osmosis filters. (Protec Arisaw America, in Vista, manufactured the large membranes.) Half the seawater sucked into the system is returned to the ocean, flushing the removed salt. Poseidon claims that 500 to 1000 feet from the outlet, tests cannot detect high salinity in the water.

Officials said the plant was already pumping at full capacity, expected to deliver its daily 50-million-gallon output, equaling 10 percent of the county’s needs.

“It serves about 400,000 people. Our pipeline flow could fill a residential swimming pool in 40 seconds,” said MacLaggan.

Poseidon now has a proposal for a similar plant in Huntington Beach.

During a morning tour before the ceremony, members of the press were offered a drink of the desalinated water. It tasted as good as any bottled water. Unfortunately, as with all of our tap-water supply, the desalinated water will be treated with bacteria-killing chlorine and other chemicals by local water districts before residential delivery.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Space Truckin’

Ace Frehley, Travis Barker, Tolan Shaw, Andy Robinson, Thousand Below
Next Article

North River Farms foes face lawsuit heat

If activists take Measure L off ballot, they would no longer face mounting legal fees
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close