California Coastal Commission OKs desalination plant in Orange County
Rocidental Energy has been awarded a contract for construction of the first phase of the Orange County Desalination plant in Laguna Beach.
The project will be funded through a competitive request for proposals (RFP) and will include construction of a desalination facility, an onshore plant, a seawater reclamation system, and a wastewater treatment facility. Construction will begin no later than March 2018 and continue for three years.
It was awarded for the second time by the Orange County Water District, which operates the water treatment plant.
The project will result in the installation of three units of the Ocean Water Reclamation System, a treatment plant to remove water and solids from the ocean, and the construction of a wastewater treatment plant to remove the excess salt concentration and provide potable water.
The project was designed to meet the high salinization rates at the water treatment plant. The estimated project cost was $18 million.
A second phase of the project will include installation of additional unit of the Ocean Water Reclamation System. The additional two units, when installed, will be approximately 10 feet in diameter and will be used to store the excess water, which would be treated by the existing units, or discharged back into the ocean at various points along the Laguna Madre and Rincon Creek watersheds.
The plant will include a secondary wastewater treatment plant to treat the excess salt concentration.
Project engineers stated that this combination of desalination and seawater reclamation systems will generate approximately 2.5 million gallons of potable water with the excess water from the ocean disposal system being captured, treated with the secondary wastewater treatment plant and then discharged into rivers.
“Orange County needs to move from an era of water conservation to one of water production, but the cost is very high due to the costs of water treatment, desalination and wastewater treatment facilities,” John Knepp, vice president of engineering for Desert Coast Water, said. “To meet our water supply, we needed a high desalination system, which costs approximately $3 million per plant unit compared with