Desalination plant in Kuwait conquers red tide challenge

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The Shuwaikh Seawater Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) Desalination Plant in Kuwait has avoided reduced production and plant shutdown - problems caused by red tide - through its pre-treatment steps, according to Pentair X-Flow.

Located near Shuwaikh port, the plant was built by Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction in 2010 for the Kuwaiti Ministry of Electricity and Water.

With an ultrafiltration (UF) permeate capacity of 350,000 m3 and Reverse Osmosis (RO) output of 94,700 m3, the plant supplies drinking water for more than 450,000 residents in Kuwait City.

Pentair X-Flow said the plant design gave special attention to pre-treatment as the seawater in the area is highly saline, rich in organic components and known for occasional red tides, which can last for 10 days. This resulted in a combination of dissolved air filtration (DAF) and Pentair X-Flow’s Seaguard 40 UF membrane modules and skids.

Together, DAF and UF efficiently remove high concentrations of suspended solids and small-sized colloidal particulates. The produced RO feed water has a consistent silt density index value of less than 3.0 at all times, according to the company.

Even during a red tide event, the combined DAF and UF pre-treatment proved successful in removing the increased number of particles caused by the abnormal algae growth with turbidity levels of up to 31 NTU.

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