Santa Barbara Desalination Plant

Refurbishing a 20-year old SWRO plant to meet 21st century needs

Exceptional drought conditions demand exceptional thinking, and in July 2015 the City of Santa Barbara decided to reactivate the Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant. This plant had been in long-term standby mode since 1991, so significant engineering was required to bring the plant online to provide a significant contribution to the city’s water needs and overcome the constant threat of drought.

“The Santa Barbara desalination plant addresses the growing water demands that resulted from severe drought in CA.”

Capacity: Initial 3,125 AFY (10,560 m3/day) with possible further extension to 7,500 AFY (25,344 m3/day)
Technology: Reverse Osmosis (RO)
Project Type: EPC and O&M – 5 years + possible extension (IDE)
Location: City of Santa Barbara, CA, USA
Footprint: 1.45 acres
End User: Santa Barbara Public Works Department
Commission Date: May 2017

Flexible project structure to meet the municipality’s needs
A DBO (Design-Build-Operate) project structure allowed the city of Santa Barbara to maintain ownership of the plant while IDE designed, built and operates the plant to deliver agreed capacity.
Lowest desalination water costs
The plant is fully automated and modular in construction, meaning capex and opex were significantly reduced.
Proprietary DOHS
Process maintains membranes constantly clean without chemicals and without stopping the RO train
Faster and more economical construction
Prefabrication and pre-assembly meant construction time and costs were significantly reduced.
Highly economical operation
Monitoring and most maintenance takes place directly in the skid, thus further reducing opex.