The third desalination plant being built by CH2M Hill, a global full-service engineering, procurement, construction and operations firm for the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa), will come on line by mid-2009.
CH2M Hill has already delivered design, construction, and commissioning services to Sewa for two other seawater reverse osmosis desalination plants.
CH2M Hill has served as the single source of responsibility for engineer-procure-construct services for the three new desalination plants, which will provide more than 60,000 cubic metres (16 million gallons) per day of high-quality desalinated water to Sharjah. The Layyah and Khorfakkan SWRO desalination plants began supplying desalinated water in October 2008.
According to a statement by CH2M Hill, Sharjah is turning to SWRO membrane desalination to diversify and augment the region's potable water supplies.
"Sharjah needs additional water supplies," said CH2M Hill's Felix Wang, who served as commissioning manager and process engineer. "Salty water comes from the taps in some areas, such as Khorfakkan. The new desalination plants will serve a critical need in the existing distribution network. It feels great to know that we are doing good work for the people of Sharjah."
The environments and source waters of the three plant sites differ dramatically, each presenting unique design and engineering challenges. The Layyah and Khorfakkan sites use dual-stage media filters for treatment of the raw seawater prior to reaching the high-pressure SWRO system. The Layyah site incorporates a dissolved air floatation system before the media filters for enhanced removal of particulates, and better protection against accidental oil spills and seasonal algae blooms. Instead of conventional media filters, the Kalba desalination plant will use high-performance ultrafiltration membranes that are specifically designed for SWRO applications.
Keith Scott, the programme manager who is responsible for the concurrent delivery of the three desalination plants, said: "At the conclusion of these projects the team can be extremely proud of what we have accomplished together."