West Basin Municipal Water District has been operating a SWRO demonstration plant in Redondo Beach since early 2009. The project was undertaken so that several critical aspects of the process could be evaluated and the District could develop a design basis for a future, full-scale plant. Plans call for the project to conclude this September.
Last week, Diane McKinney, the District’s desalination project engineer, told WDR that the District will consider making the site available to private parties that might want to use the facility for product development, performance verification or research. “If there is enough interest from the desal industry, we would seek permit extensions for the facility and allow manufacturers or researchers to come onsite and conduct their tests for a fee. If there is no interest, we will let the permits expire and cease operations,” she said.
The facility includes a screened, open ocean intake and can handle a range of flows up to 300 GPM (19 L/s). It is capable of testing a variety of pretreatment, RO and energy recovery technology, as well as evaluating various environmental optimization strategies. Fees would be based on the level of support needed from the District’s existing operations staff and support services and the products to be tested. The current availability extends from October 2013 through December 2014.
McKinney said that inquiries should be directed to her at DianeM@westbasin.org and letters of intent for specific test programs would be considered through the end of March.