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HOME > Water Infrastructure > Fresh Water Supplies

Wells filter salt from coastal waters

Southern California-based Irvine Ranch Water System is removing naturally occurring salts and residue of agriculture fertilizers.

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The desalter project uses five wells to pass the water through a series of filters to remove any salts and nitrates. It will provide enough water to serve 50,000 people.

Every year, the desalter system will process enough water to cover a soccer field a mile deep. The well holes are 12 to 16 inches in diameter and will draw water from depths of 180 to 1,015 feet in a water-laden zone of sand and rock. Once the water is processed, it will be piped into the district's drinking water purification system.

The project will continue until the salt and nitrate levels in the groundwater meet state and federal standards.

The desalter project parallels a Navy project on the old air base to remove solvent that was used to clean aircraft parts and has polluted a plume of groundwater.

Once that water is cleaned, it will be recycled and used for landscaping and toilets in office buildings. None of that water is to be used for drinking. The Navy project is expected to take 30 years.

The Irvine Ranch Water System is beginning a project to remove naturally occurring salts and any residue of agriculture fertilizers - nitrates - in an area mostly north and west of the old El Toro Marine Corps base in Southern California.


Edited by Carolyn Allen, Managing Editor of Solutions For Green

Publication Date: 11/26/2008
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