sea water-seawater desalination-desalination-Carlsbad Desalination Plant-Trason BraggThe power and technology behind San Diego County, California’s Carlsbad Desalination Plant is described in this report from Reporter Trason Bragg. Screengrab: Atlanta News Now/Courtesy Trason Bragg

Turning Seawater into Drinking Water

The power and technology behind the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, which turns seawater into drinking water, is described in this video report from Reporter Trason Bragg.

The Carlsbad Desalination Plant is the largest, most technologically advanced and energy-efficient desalination plant in the nation, and it has produced more than 100 billion gallons of drinking water for San Diego County since operations began in December 2015.

Seawater into drinking water

New intake and discharge facilities

The new intake and discharge facilities at the Carlsbad Desalination Plant will ensure the plant continues to meet California’s stringent Ocean Plan standards for protecting marine life. Work started in January 2023 and the new facilities are anticipated to be operational by December 2024. Except for a planned plant outage required near the end of the project to connect the new facilities to the existing intake system, construction is not expected to impact water production.

100 billion gallons-reverse osmosis-seawater desalination

Reverse osmosis is the heart of the Carlsbad Desalination Plant. During this process, dissolved salt and other minerals are separated from the water, making it fit for consumption. This reverse osmosis building contains more than 2,000 pressure vessels housing more than 16,000 reverse osmosis membranes. Photo: San Diego County Water Authority