Population served

Water for irrigation

The purpose of the plant is to guarantee water supply for the municipalities of the Levante Almeriense and to provide water for irrigation of 7,000 ha in the Campo de Níjar, thus allowing the recovery of the aquifer, which has been heavily overexploited.

This is a large-capacity seawater desalination plant, with a production capacity of 42 hm³/year, for supplying the municipality of Carboneras and the town of Agua Amarga. In 2005 it was found that the lack of infrastructure for channeling water reduced the water distribution capacity to 2.5 hm³/year.

IDAM Carboneras was the largest seawater desalination plant built in Europe at the time of its construction and one of the largest in the world. The plant came into service in 2005, incorporating technological advances for the time as well as alleviating the great water imbalance, since the demand for water in the area does not correspond to the availability of drinking water.
The processes it has are the capture of raw water, pre-treatment by means of a double filtration cover, the reverse osmosis process, post-treatment, pumping, storage and distribution of treated water.

General Information

  • Entity: ACUSUR.
  • Location: Carboneras, Almeria. Spain.
  • Population served: 800,000 inhabitants
  • Capacity: 120,000 m3/day

Key points

  • The catchment of sea water (sea water intake), is performed using 2 collectors with diameter of 2 metres and 300 metres long, placed on the sea bed.
  • Dosage of sodium hypochlorite for raw water.
  • Pumping of raw water through 14 pumps that provide a flow of 965 m3/h each.
  • Sand filtration through 14 vulcanised horizontal metal filters of 3,000 mm in diameter and 11,000 mm in length.
  • Dispersant / anti-crusting dosage system to avoid possible precipitation of salts in the system.
  • Safety filtration systems composed of 14 horizontal cartridge filters. Each one of these has 12 cartridges of 20 absolute microns.
  • Metabisulphate dosage to neutralise the oxidation agent injected in the previous phase.
  • High pressure pumping and energy recover using 14 turbo-pump groups (12+2 reserve) composed of a pump, motor and Pelton turbine.
  • 12 Frames with a production capacity of 10,000 m3/day formed by 140 pressure tubes and each with 7 aromatic polyamide membranes.
  • 45% conversion.
  • Remineralisation through lime and CO2.
  • Treated water tanks of 2,500 m3 and 16,500 m3.
  • Dilution of the rejected brine with dilution of 4:1 with sea water to avoid any impact on the Posedonia Ocean.

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