Work begins on desalination plant

Work began last Friday on a desalination plant in Carlsbad that will be capable of producing 50 million gallons of drinking water a day when it becomes operational in 2012.

The first phase of construction on the plant, which will be located adjacent to the Encina Power Station, includes demolishing and removing existing oil and diesel storage tanks and other structures, along with a wastewater treatment facility and piping throughout the site, according to Poseidon Resources, the project’s developer.

Construction on the desalination plant comes after 11 years of planning and permitting.

Poseidon has also begun installing construction fencing at the site, surveying and removing any polluted materials, relocating electrical and mechanical equipment and taking stormwater pollution prevention measures. Poseidon received a permit from the California Coastal Commission earlier this month to start construction.

The commission approved the overall project in November 2007, and the plant’s environmental mitigation plan in August of last year. Construction is scheduled to take two years and another six months for testing, according to Poseidon. When it is done, the plant will be capable of converting enough ocean water into drinking water to meet the needs of 300,000 residents, according to Poseidon.

— City News Service