£40m desalination plant considered for Southern England

A £40 million desalination plant producing 200,000 m3/day could be in operation along England’s south coast by 2028, according to utility Southern Water...

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A £40 million desalination plant producing 200,000 m3/day could be in operation along England’s south coast by 2028, according to utility Southern Water.

Southern Water told WWi: “Currently, a desalination plant is being considered for construction in Southampton by 2028 but comprehensive planning with the regulators, local authorities and environmental and community groups would be required if it was to be pursued.

“The desalination option which we have outlined would run alongside other regular resources and would only typically be used during periods of drought.”

In its draft Water Resources Management Plan the utility outlined a range of water resource improvements, including leakage reduction and water efficiency.

This would be the second major municipal desalination plant in the country. In June 2010, the UK opened its first municipal desalination plant in Beckton, East London, operated by utility Thames Water and capable of supplying 150,000 m3/day of water per day (see WWi story).

Although Thames Water’s Beckton site is considered the first major municipal desalination plant in the UK, the Scilly Isle’s 227 m3/day facility has been operating since the early 1990s.

This particular facility has been replaced with new reverse osmosis (RO) technology through a £1.5 million Defra grant (see Desalinate video news).

A report from the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) said that desalination could become more common along the UK coastline, with at least four major plants and up to 800 smaller units predicted to be in operation by 2050 (see WWi story).

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