El Paso to dedicate one of world's largest inland desalination plants

July 31, 2007
El Paso Water Utilities will dedicate the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007. The $87 million facility produces 27.5 million gallons of water per day, making it one of the largest inland desalination plants in the world. The desalination plant is a joint project of El Paso Water Utilities and the U.S. Army/Fort Bliss. It produces potable water by treating a previously unusable resource -- brackish groundwater from the Hueco Bolson Aquifer. Plants that...

EL PASO, TX, July 30, 2007 -- El Paso Water Utilities will dedicate the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant on Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2007. The $87 million facility produces 27.5 million gallons of water per day, making it one of the largest inland desalination plants in the world.

The desalination plant is a joint project of El Paso Water Utilities and the U.S. Army/Fort Bliss. It produces potable water by treating a previously unusable resource -- brackish groundwater from the Hueco Bolson Aquifer.

Plants that desalinate seawater are more common than inland plants such as El Paso's. They provide an ample supply of raw water, and the residuals from the desalination process are returned to the ocean. El Paso's plant has attracted industry-wide attention due to its inland location and innovative method of residual disposal.

The residuals, called concentrate, are injected into porous, underground rock through wells. This geologic formation confines the concentrate and prevents its migration to fresh water.

The desalination plant increases El Paso's fresh water production by 25 percent. This augments existing supplies and ensures that El Paso and Fort Bliss have water for growth and development for more than 50 years.

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