Carlsbad Desalination Plant
The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant is the largest, most technologically advanced and energy-efficient seawater desalination plant in the Country. Each day, the plant delivers nearly 50 million gallons (56,000 acre-feet per year (AFY)) of fresh, desalinated water to San Diego County – enough to serve approximately 400,000 people and accounting for about one-third of all water generated in the County.
Located adjacent to the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad, California, the Carlsbad Desalination Plant was developed as a public-private partnership. The project originated in 1998 was launched in 2015 with a purchase agreement between Poseidon Water and the San Diego County Water Authority. It uses a reverse osmosis filtering process that separates salt from seawater, since then it has garnered numerous awards for design, implementation and energy efficiency.
Poseidon Water is the owner and operator of the desalination plant and IDE is the operator for the next 25 years.
The Challenge: Sustainable Water Production
In May 2019, the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board and the California Coastal Commission issued a permit for the installation of new, technologically advanced and environmentally sensitive seawater intake and discharge facilities at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant. The new intake-discharge system is needed for long-term operations of the desalination plant that now uses water withdrawn from Agua Hedionda Lagoon for once-through cooling at the Encina Power Station. Whenever the plant is operating, Encina’s water cooling station will be closed, so it does not waste energy nor money and it is environmentally more efficient.
Indar unveils its solution based on water engineering
With the decommissioning of Encina Power Station, the Carlsbad Desalination Plant is modernizing the existing intake facilities to provide additional environmental enhancements to protect and preserve the marine environment complying with the regulations in the California State Water Board’s Ocean Plan Amendment.
The new screened-intake (1mm) will use three (3) Indar high-tech customized fish-friendly submersible pumps that will replace the existing circulating pumps. The pumps are projected with variable speed to absorb all the potential possibilities of demand in the plant.
The submersible pumps with axial flow, single stage and single inlet have an opened multichannel (3) impeller with big free ball passage. Being projected with shroud, the cables once outside the unit are protected, preventing these from coming into contact with the pumped water.
Each group of submersible pump and motor transfers 99 MGD per day, with a height of 10 feet thanks to the power of Indar’s motors (362 HP).
Even though the new submerged, screened-intake system is expected to be connected in late 2023, Indar’s submersible motor-pump set will be delivered in mid-2020. It is the first plant meeting 2015 California Ocean Plant Amendmentrequirement, using the best available technology to minimize impacts to marine life in full compliance.
With this second project, Indar consolidates its Water Engineering strategy in the USA. Indar expects to achieve new references in the near future.