Case Study of Pretreatment Techniques Upstream of a 53-mgd Seawater RO Plant

By P. Temple Ballard, Veronique Bonnelye, and Miguel Angel Sanz


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The Barcelona (Spain) desalination plant with a production capacity of 200,000 cubic meters per day (m3/d) (52.8 million gallons per day [mgd]) will be the largest seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) project in Europe to supply potable water and one of the largest in the Mediterranean Sea and the world. This project was developed by ATLL (Aguas del Ter-Llobregat), a public company of the Environmental and House Department of the Catalonian government (Generalitat of Catalonia). ATLL provides water to the more than 100 municipalities of Barcelona County, serving more than 4.5 million people. When completed, the desalination plant will be able to produce approximately 20% of the total potable water demand for Barcelonaï¾’s metropolitan area, and will be a key part in the strategy to supply potable water to the region because of reduced rainfall the last several years, and limitations of the existing supplies. This plant will also help to improve the water quality (especially total dissolved solids [TDS]) in Barcelonaï¾’s southwest area.

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