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People Should Drink Way More Recycled Wastewater

ON A DUSTY hilltop in San Diego, the drinking water of the future courses through a wildly complicated and very loud jumble of tanks, pipes, and cylinders. Here at the North City Water Reclamation Plant, very not-drinkable wastewater is turned into a liquid so pure it would actually wreak havoc on your body if you imbibed it without further treatment.

First the system hits the wastewater with ozone, which destroys bacteria and viruses. Then it pumps the water through filters packed with coal granules that trap organic solids. Next, the water passes through fine membranes that snag any remaining solids and microbes. “The pores are so small, you can’t see them except with a really powerful microscope,” says Amy Dorman, deputy director of Pure Water San Diego, the city’s initiative to reduce its reliance on water imported from afar. “Basically, they only allow the water molecules to get through.”

Desal Plant Operations Continue as State Starts to Install Barriers at Lagoon

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Oct. 7, 2021) – Poseidon Water and the San Diego County Water Authority issued the following joint statement in response to emergency response efforts following the recent oil spill off the coast of Orange County. No oil has been detected by the plant’s monitoring system.

“The San Diego County Water Authority and Poseidon Water appreciate precautionary efforts by state emergency response crews to install a protective boom at the mouth of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, which provides intake water for the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant. State agencies are also installing a second barrier near the plant intake.

“The Carlsbad Desalination Plant continues to operate normally with no oil detected at the site, and there are no plans to shut it down. If operational changes are required, the Water Authority could shift water deliveries to ensure continued water service to its member agencies countywide. Per State of California requirements in the facility’s drinking water permit, the desalination plant will shut down if the hydrocarbon concentration of source seawater reaches 300 parts per billion.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely, including ongoing testing for oil in the intake waters of the desal plant. And we continue to closely coordinate with the City of Carlsbad, the County of San Diego, Orange County, state agencies and others involved in the emergency response to ensure the plant remains a vital, drought-proof water source for San Diego County.”

Carlsbad Desalination Plant-oil spill-Lagoon-boom protection

Desal Plant Operations Continue; Protective Boom Installed at Lagoon

(Editor’s note: As of Friday, October 8, the Carlsbad Desalination Plant continues operating at full production with no indication of oil in the feed water. As a precautionary measure, protective booms have been placed at several locations in the Aqua Hedionda Lagoon, including in front of the desalination plant intake).

Poseidon Water and the San Diego County Water Authority issued the following joint statement in response to emergency response efforts following the recent oil spill off the coast of Orange County. No oil has been detected by the plant’s monitoring system.

“The San Diego County Water Authority and Poseidon Water appreciate precautionary efforts by state emergency response crews to install a protective boom at the mouth of Agua Hedionda Lagoon, which provides intake water for the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant. State agencies are also installing a second barrier near the plant intake.

No oil detected

“The Carlsbad Desalination Plant continues to operate normally with no oil detected at the site, and there are no plans to shut it down. If operational changes are required, the Water Authority could shift water deliveries to ensure continued water service to its member agencies countywide. Per State of California requirements in the facility’s drinking water permit, the desalination plant will shut down if the hydrocarbon concentration of source seawater reaches 300 parts per billion.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely, including ongoing testing for oil in the intake waters of the desal plant. And we continue to closely coordinate with the City of Carlsbad, the County of San Diego, Orange County, state agencies and others involved in the emergency response to ensure the plant remains a vital, drought-proof water source for San Diego County.”

Drought-proof water supply

The Water Authority added desalinated seawater to its supply portfolio in 2015 with the start of commercial operations at the nation’s largest seawater desalination plant – the result of a public-private partnership in the coastal town of Carlsbad. The drought-proof supply reduces the region’s dependence on supplies that are vulnerable to droughts, natural disasters and regulatory restrictions.

Desalination uses reverse osmosis technology to separate water molecules from seawater. Water from the ocean is forced through thousands of tightly-wrapped, semipermeable membranes under very high pressure. The membranes allow the smaller water molecules to pass through, leaving salt and other impurities behind.

Landmark public-private partnership

In November 2012, the Water Authority approved a 30-year Water Purchase Agreement with Poseidon Water for the purchase of up to 56,000 acre-feet of desalinated seawater per year, approximately 10% of the San Diego region’s water demand.

Poseidon is a private, investor-owned company that develops water and wastewater infrastructure. Under the Water Purchase Agreement, Poseidon built the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, and a 10-mile conveyance pipeline to deliver desalinated seawater to the Water Authority’s aqueduct system.

For updates on the oil spill go to: https://socalspillresponse.com

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Ready with Floating Boom if Oil Slick Moves South

Poseidon Water and the San Diego County Water Authority said Wednesday they are monitoring the oil spill off Huntington Beach and are prepared to protect the Carlsbad desalination plant.

The two organizations said in a statement that oil from Saturday’s underwater pipeline leak has not affected operations at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which supplies nearly 10% of the county’s drinking water.

Carlsbad Desalination Plant Maintains Safe Operations, Monitors Orange County Oil Spill

CARLSBAD, Calif. (Oct. 6, 2021) – Poseidon Water and the San Diego County Water Authority issued the following joint statement in response to the recent oil spill off the coast of Orange County:

“The oil spill has not affected the operations of the Claude ‘Bud’ Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant. The facility is San Diego County’s largest single source of locally produced drinking water, generating nearly 80 billion gallons of drought-proof water since operations started in December 2015.

“Water quality in Carlsbad’s Agua Hedionda Lagoon – the desalination plant’s intake source – is continually monitored for more than a half-dozen seawater parameters, including oil-in-water concentration. Per State of California requirements in the facility’s drinking water permit, the desalination plant will shut down if the hydrocarbon concentration of source seawater reaches 300 parts per billion. While there has been no indication of oil from Orange County reaching Carlsbad, the facility’s operating team will continue to closely monitor intake water quality.

“In addition, Poseidon Water and the Water Authority are working with local, state, and federal agencies to assess potential preemptive actions in case conditions change, including installation of a floating boom at the mouth of the lagoon. That would protect the lagoon for marine life and ensure the desalination plant can stay online, which minimizes the San Diego region’s demands on other water resources.”

Lawsuit Seeks to Block Poseidon Desalination Plant in Huntington Beach

Two environmental groups have sued the Regional Water Quality Control Board over its decision to grant a permit for Poseidon Water’s desalination plant proposed for Huntington Beach, saying the board’s environmental review of the project was inadequate.
Poseidon has been working on the controversial, $1.4 billion project for 22 years. The regional board’s approval on April 29 leaves the company needing one more permit, from the state Coastal Commission, before it can negotiate a final contract with the Orange County Water District and begin construction.

Marin Water Exploring Desalination to Tackle Severe Drought

Reservoirs continue to dry up in Marin County and everyone agrees that conservation efforts are ‘not’ where they need to be. Now, the Marin Municipal Water District is looking at some expensive options to tackle the severe drought. “We’re facing historic drought conditions,” Emma Detwiler said.

Cost Analysis for Desalination Presented to SCWD Board

Ocean desalination has been named as one of the South Coast Water District’s top priorities—even more so as California undergoes an unprecedented water shortage.

In 2008, a Pilot Ocean Desalination Project was first initiated at Doheny State Beach, and the facility operated successfully for 21 months between 2010 and 2012. Subsequent to this effort, the District has proceeded with planning for an Ocean Desalination Facility.

Desalination Offers Great Promise, Requires Further Research, Panelists Say

With much of California and other western U.S. states experiencing significant drought, the need to pursue further advancements in desalination has never been greater. This was a central theme of an Aug. 11 webinar, titled “Discussion on Desalination — Treatments, Research, and the Future,” conducted by the WateReuse Association.

Antioch Launches the Region’s First Water Desalination Project

The city of Antioch’s water supply has been challenged in recent years by a variety of factors. But the Brackish Water Desalination Project, the first desalination project of its kind in the five-county Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta region, is intended to improve the reliability of the city’s water.

The city filed its notice of preparation for the project just over four years ago and then broke ground on the plant in February of this year.