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Carlsbad Desalination Plant Nears Opening

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Blue pipes hooked up to filter canisters inside the Carlsbad desalination facility on July 8, 2015.

The western hemisphere's largest ocean desalination plant is only a month or so away from producing drinking water from the ocean.

The Carlsbad desalination plant is already filtering sea water and the plant is close to producing drinking water for the region.

The facility could be open for business in 30 to 40 days.

The plant will be the largest ocean desalination facility in the western hemisphere when it opens.

Crews are already putting the operation through its paces, said Poseidon Water's Jessica Jones.

"We are running the seawater through the pretreatment, through the R.O. (reverse osmosis) building, all the membranes are working at full capacity. And we are successfully producing 50 million gallons of fresh drinking water each day down there. Right now the water is going back out to the ocean," Jones said.

Plant operators are working to land the last permit needed for operation. That permit comes from the State Drinking Water Department.

"Once they give us that permit we start our 30 day performance test, which is the final test, running the whole system and then we are commercially operational," Jones said.

That permit and a month long waiting period are the final hurdles before the facility can begin producing water for the region. Regional water managers say the billion dollar plant will produce about 7 percent of the San Diego County's water supply.

Poseidon Water is trying to build a similar plant in Huntington Beach.

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