New Seawater Intake Pumps at the Carlsbad Desalination Plant

New fish-friendly seawater intake pumps are now online at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in Carlsbad and are being touted as among the most environmentally advanced intake pumps in the world.

The three intake pumps, manufactured by Indar, are part of a broader effort to ensure the long-term health of the marine environment near the plant, which sits on the shores of Agua Hedionda Lagoon.

Installation of the new intake pumps is part of a phased program to replace the existing seawater intake and discharge facilities with state-of-the-art technology to protect marine life. The next steps include adding new intake screens, designed to prevent any sea-life larger than 1 millimeter (thicker than a credit card) from entering the plant.

The new intake screens are the final part of the upgrades and are expected to be complete in 2023.  This will make the Carlsbad Desalination Plant the first facility in California to comply with the 2015 California Ocean Plan Amendment.

“Using the most advanced technology for the seawater intake system builds on the Carlsbad Desalination Plant’s long history of protecting and preserving the coastal environment,” said Poseidon CEO Carlos Riva. “The new intake system will make this one of the most environmentally sensitive desalination plants in the world, and further enhance our region’s water reliability and climate resiliency.”

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