Pipeline linking desalination plant to water system finished

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CARLSBAD, Calif. — A 10-mile pipeline that connects a desalination plant in Carlsbad to the San Diego County Water Authority’s distribution system has been completed.

Poseidon Water, the builder of the plant, and the water authority announced Monday that the last 54-inch diameter section was dropped into place in Macario Canyon in Carlsbad. The section was the 2,177th of the pipeline, which runs between Carlsbad and San Marcos.

The $1 billion desalination facility is expected to begin delivering water this fall, pending approval from state regulators. Once production is fully ramped up, the plant will convert seawater into around 50 million gallons a day of potable water.

“This final piece of pipe is a significant milestone for the Carlsbad Desalination Project, and a sign that the entire construction project is entering its final phase,” said Peter MacLaggan, Poseidon’s vice president. “We are grateful for the cooperation and support of the businesses, residents, property owners and city staff along the route in Carlsbad, Vista and San Marcos.”

The plant is expected to deliver enough water to serve about 112,000 families, and meet 7 to 10 percent of the region’s water demand, according to Poseidon.

Mark Weston, chairman of the water authority’s board of directors, said the project “will provide a core water supply for our region day-in and day- out for decades, reducing our reliance on vulnerable imported water supplies.”

“It is a critical piece of the Water Authority’s long-term supply diversification strategy to enhance the reliability of the region’s water supply, along with water conservation, recycling and transfers from the Imperial Valley,” Weston said. “We are particularly eager to start receiving the benefits of this project given the severe drought conditions faced statewide.”