San Diego County Water Authority to Open Desalination Test Facility Along Pacific Ocean

Dec. 23, 2015
The $4 million project will evaluate treatment methods for two different seawater intakes

Michael Baker Intl. is set to design, build and operate a pilot seawater desalination system located at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton on behalf of the San Diego County Water Authority. Once completed, the test facility will analyze the merits of two different ocean water intake approaches over a one-year period—one that gathers water using a screen near the bottom of the ocean, and another that collects water below the seafloor. The results of these tests will help identify the most feasible, cost-effective and environmentally sensitive way to implement a desalination intake at the base that is consistent with new state regulations.

“Michael Baker’s work on this initiative could pave the way for possible development of a full-scale water treatment facility here in the years to come,” said Bob Schlesinger, San Diego office executive for Michael Baker. “The San Diego County Water Authority has said that a potential desalination project at Camp Pendleton could serve as a long-term water supply option for the region.”

Michael Baker’s role in the Camp Pendleton Intake Testing Program includes environmental permitting, design, construction, operation, and collection and analysis of data during the testing period. At the completion of the test, Michael Baker will prepare a report with a projected cost analysis for operation of a full-scale plant and then decommission and remove the pilot facility.

In the last 10 years, Michael Baker has played a role in developing and implementing water solutions for West Coast communities. This includes work for California American Water on the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, where Michael Baker experts provided engineering, planning, and permitting services to replace more than 80% of the water supply for the Monterey Peninsula. The integrated solution included a seawater desalination plant, storage reservoirs, transmission pipelines and storage wells.

Source: Michael Baker Intl.