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The Carlsbad Desalination Infographic: Clean Water in San Diego

The Carlsbad Desalination Infographic: Clean Water in San Diego

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This infographic of the Carlsbad Desalination plant was to help individuals visualize exactly how this process is completed as well as how it will affect San Diego’s clean drinking water. This is a large scaled plan, that will affect both Southern Californian’s potable water as well as their wallet.

A combination of natural flowing water, pumps, reverse osmosis and dilution are all needed in order for the salty ocean water to become drinkable for San Diego residents.  As mentioned in the flow chart, when this desalination plant comes online in 2016, it will be the largest, most technologically advanced and energy efficient desalination process in the western hemisphere.

EDIT 8/28/2013: The team at Energy Recovery helped to provide some more information regarding the energy saving aspects of this plant and some more about what happens to some of the water after flowing through the membrane.  You can use the image below to help see a zoomed in portion of the flowchart:

Energy Recovery PX Pressure Exchanger

A zoomed in flow-chart of how the PX Pressure Exchanger® will work

During the RO process, salt water flows sideways to the membrane, and 60% of this salt water flushes right past membrane.  40% passes through the membrane and is drinkable, moving on to the public. This 60% reject water still has a lot of pressure and still contains salts.  If there were not energy recovery devices, the discharge would go right back to ocean with the ocean water unchanged.  You can actually recycle this water though and use it again.  A pipe goes past the membrane to harness the 60% discharge.  The PX Pressure Exchanger® is put in that pipe and its is then recycled to the beginning part of process, all of this done with 98% efficiency.  Due to this process, not only is CO2 reduced, but the power bill goes down by 60%.

Feel free to leave any questions or concerns about this process in the comment section below.

Author: Shannon Walker


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