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Carlsbad Desalination Plant

Massive Desalination Plant Uses HDPE Pipe

Carlsbad Desalination PlantAs California enters its fourth year of severe drought, the state is looking to innovative water technologies including desalination.

Water Efficiency reports Poseidon Water and KSD Construction are working in the southern part of the state to build the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere.

The Carlsbad Desalination Plant and its 10-mile water delivery pipeline will produce and convey more than 50 million gallons of potable water per day San Diego County. The intake pumps will deliver 100 million gallons per day of seawater to the facility, converting half to drinking water and diluting the concentrated brine with additional seawater before discharging it back into the ocean.

Because ocean water is highly corrosive and typical pipeline materials couldn’t handle the design and high velocity flow in the line (a 16 percent slope with 20 feet per second velocity at maximum flow conditions), KSD used a high density polyethelyne (HDPE) pipe for the project, Water Efficiency reports. The publication says HDPE is economical, reliable and leak-free.

Because the pipeline needed to be so large — made of 63-inch diameter HDPE —KSD teamed up with pipeline distributor ISCO Industries to source the hard-to-find pipe and fittings, as well as technical expertise.

The desalination project, 12 years in the making, is slated for completion in 2016.

Earlier this year membrane filtration manufacturer H2O Innovation delivered a containerized advanced water treatment system to the Cambria Community Service District in California to help the community overcome the impact of the historic drought affecting the state.

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