Florida Study Begins to Evaluate Seawater as a Potential Water Source

June 7, 2002
A new study to investigate and evaluate the potential of using seawater to help meet future water supply needs in northeast and east-central Florida has begun.

The study will identify up to 20 potential seawater demineralization facility sites for further evaluation. Some key factors to be considered include: accessibility and quality of seawater at various locations, treatment requirements and estimated project costs.

The St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) of Palatka, Fla., has chosen R. W. Beck, Inc. of Orlando as the prime contractor for the 18-month project.

"We are identifying and evaluating suitable seawater demineralization facility sites along the Atlantic coast of northeast Florida," says Barbara Vergara, District Director of the Division of Water Supply Planning. "The information we obtain from this project will help local governments and water supply utilities make decisions on how to meet their future water supply needs. Seawater is an option that must be evaluated and compared with other water supply options, such as surface water from lakes and rivers."

According to John D. Hermann, Project Manager for R. W. Beck, "Serious water supply shortages are increasingly becoming widespread throughout the U.S. and the world – demineralization can offer a viable means to alleviate those shortages. We will provide the District with an understanding of this new technology and a sense of how it will fit into their water supply plans."

R. W. Beck has extensive experience in seawater demineralization, including assisting Tampa Bay Water with its two planned facilities.

The SJRWMD is responsible for managing ground and surface water supplies in all or part of 19 counties in northeast and east-central Florida.

Source: R.W. Beck

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