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Construction Progresses At North County Desalination Plant

Site of the Poseidon Resources Desalination plant. Photo Credit: Poseidon Resources
Site of the Poseidon Resources Desalination plant. Photo Credit: Poseidon Resources
Written by Alison St John/KPBS


There’s not much to see but cranes when you drive past the construction site of the largest desalination project yet built in the Western Hemisphere. But the billion-dollar plant being built on the Carlsbad coastline is wrapping up its first year of construction. The project is ontrack to start producing 7 percent of the region’s water in another two years.

Peter Maclaggan of Poseidon Resources said crews are on schedule, working on the tanks and the 10-mile-long pipeline that will carry the desalinated sea water to San Marcos where it will join the San Diego County Water Authority’s network.

"We’ve gone all the way through San Marcos and we’re now also laying pipe from west to east in Carlsbad, and expect that the two construction crews will meet around El Camino Real somewhere around the end of 2014," Maclaggan said, adding that will complete the pipeline construction.

Maclaggan said trenches for the 54-inch diameter pipe are as much as 30-feet deep. The plant itself is designed to look like an ordinary office building.

About 350 people are working to meet the project’s deadline, he said. The contract calls for Poseidon to start providing up to 50 million gallons of desalinated water a day by early 2016.

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