Tag Archives: seawater desalination

June 21, 1961: First Practical Desalination Plant; 1881: Filter Inventions

June 21, 1961:  “President John Kennedy pressed a switchinstalled in his office in Washington DC to dedicate first practical plant for the conversion of seawater to drinking water; built in less than a year at a cost of $1.5 million at Freeport, Texas by the Dow Chemical Co.; capable of producing about a million gallons of water a day, supplying fresh water to the city of Freeport at a cost of about $1.25 per thousand gallons; May 8, 1961 – Office of Saline Water, U.S. Department of the Interior opened the plant; reverse osmosis has replaced large-scale evaporation method used then as scientific advances have produced special polymers suitable for use as filtering membranes.”

Filter Backwash Process

June 21, 1881:  “Patrick Clark, of Rahway, NJ, received a patent for a ‘Process of Cleaning Filter-Beds;’ “…the novelty of the process consists in the employment of jets of water for the purpose of agitating a bed of sand or other suitable granular material which forms the upper part of the filter bed. By this means the silt and other impurities are separated from the sand, and, being of inferior specific gravity, rise above the filter bed, and are removed preferably by a natural current of water in which, when practicable, the apparatus will be immersed”; assigned to Newark Filtering Company (incorporated by Clark, John W. Hyatt, Albert Westervelt in December 1880); origin of modern rapid filter; June 21, 1881- John W. Hyatt also received a patent for a “Filter”; could be cleaned mechanically; assigned to Newark Filtering Company; prototype for rapid filtration concept.”

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June 20, 2002: Chinese Seawater Desalination Using Atomic Power

June 20, 2002:  Agreement signed to establish seawater desalination, heating plant (using atomic reactors) at coastal city of Yingkou, China; designed to address severe water shortages, burns used fuel from nuclear power stations under normal pressure giving 200 megawatts; initial phase, costing 35 million yuan ($4 million), would provide heating for a building area of 5 million sq. meters during winter; can also desalinate 3,000 tons of sea water daily when no heating is required; daily capacity is expected to amount to 80,000 tons; reactor in theory is able to replace about 130,000 tons of coal burned every year, reducing immensely waste gases.

Commentary:  While this was an interesting news item at the time, there is no evidence that this facility was ever built. Residents of southern California may be surprised to learn that a similar proposal from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California involved a nuclear powered desalination plant offshore of the Bolsa Chica wetlands on the border between Orange and Los Angeles counties. THAT was a really bad idea then and now would not even be entertained.

May 8, 2015: Croton Water Filtration Plant Activated; 1961: First Practical Seawater Desalination Plant

May 8, 2015:  Croton Water Filtration Plant Activated. “Largest Underground Filtration Plant in the United States has the Capacity to Filter up to 290 Million Gallons of Drinking Water Each Day;  Will Protect the City against the Possibility of Drought and the Effects of Climate Change

Photos of the Project and Maps are available on DEP’s Flickr Page

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd today announced that the $3.2 billion Croton Filtration Plant was recently activated and water from the Croton water supply system has been reintroduced into the city’s distribution network for the first time since 2008.  Built beneath Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, preparatory site work and excavation for the 400,000 square foot facility began in 2004.  Construction commenced in 2007 and, at the height of the work, roughly 1,300 laborers were on-site.  In addition to building the plant, the 33-mile long New Croton Aqueduct was rehabilitated and three new water tunnels were constructed to bring water to the plant, and then from the plant back to the distribution system.  With the capacity to filter up to 290 million gallons of water a day, the state of the art facility can provide roughly 30 percent of the city’s current daily water needs.

‘The activation of the Croton Filtration Plant marks a significant moment in the history of New York City,” said DEP Commissioner Lloyd.  “The Filtration Plant will help to ensure the city has a safe and reliable supply of drinking water in the event of a future drought, provide critical flexibility as we deal with the effects of a changing climate and allow us to make needed repairs to other parts of the water supply system.  All New Yorkers should raise a glass of New York City tap water today and recognize the thousands of workers who have contributed to the completion of this critical facility.’”

Commentary:  The Croton water supply was first inaugurated in 1842 as an unfiltered water supply. Check out the October 14 post in this blog for some details. Shooting off 100 cannon is a great way to celebrate a new water supply. Follow this linkto a brochure describing the project that is located below ground. The photo above shows the golf course and park that are built on top of the plant.

Seawater Desalination Plant (Evaporation Method), Freeport, Texas

May 8, 1961Office of Saline Water, U.S. Dept. of the Interior opened first practical seawater conversion plant in U.S. in Freeport, TX; designed to produce about million gallons of water a day at cost of about $1.25 per thousand gallons; the large-scale evaporation method used then replaced by reverse osmosis as scientific advances have produced special polymers suitable for use as filtering membranes.

Commentary: Looks pretty clunky compared to today’s technology.

Reference:  “Business History.” Website http://www.businesshistory.com/index.php, Accessed November 14, 2012.

June 21, 1961: First Practical Desalination Plant; 1881: Filter Inventions

June 21, 1961:  “President John Kennedy pressed a switchinstalled in his office in Washington DC to dedicate first practical plant for the conversion of seawater to drinking water; built in less than a year at a cost of $1.5 million at Freeport, Texas by the Dow Chemical Co.; capable of producing about a million gallons of water a day, supplying fresh water to the city of Freeport at a cost of about $1.25 per thousand gallons; May 8, 1961 – Office of Saline Water, U.S. Department of the Interior opened the plant; reverse osmosis has replaced large-scale evaporation method used then as scientific advances have produced special polymers suitable for use as filtering membranes.”

Filter Backwash Process

June 21, 1881:  “Patrick Clark, of Rahway, NJ, received a patent for a ‘Process of Cleaning Filter-Beds;’ “…the novelty of the process consists in the employment of jets of water for the purpose of agitating a bed of sand or other suitable granular material which forms the upper part of the filter bed. By this means the silt and other impurities are separated from the sand, and, being of inferior specific gravity, rise above the filter bed, and are removed preferably by a natural current of water in which, when practicable, the apparatus will be immersed”; assigned to Newark Filtering Company (incorporated by Clark, John W. Hyatt, Albert Westervelt in December 1880); origin of modern rapid filter; June 21, 1881- John W. Hyatt also received a patent for a “Filter”; could be cleaned mechanically; assigned to Newark Filtering Company; prototype for rapid filtration concept.”

June 20, 2002: Chinese Seawater Desalination Using Atomic Power

June 20, 2002:  Agreement signed to establish seawater desalination, heating plant (using atomic reactors) at coastal city of Yingkou, China; designed to address severe water shortages, burns used fuel from nuclear power stations under normal pressure giving 200 megawatts; initial phase, costing 35 million yuan ($4 million), would provide heating for a building area of 5 million sq. meters during winter; can also desalinate 3,000 tons of sea water daily when no heating is required; daily capacity is expected to amount to 80,000 tons; reactor in theory is able to replace about 130,000 tons of coal burned every year, reducing immensely waste gases.

Commentary:  While this was an interesting news item at the time, there is no evidence that this facility was ever built. Residents of southern California may be surprised to learn that a similar proposal from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California involved a nuclear powered desalination plant offshore of the Bolsa Chica wetlands on the border between Orange and Los Angeles counties. THAT was a really bad idea then and now would not even be entertained.

May 8, 2015: Croton Water Filtration Plant Activated; 1961: First Practical Seawater Desalination Plant

May 8, 2015:  Croton Water Filtration Plant Activated. “Largest Underground Filtration Plant in the United States has the Capacity to Filter up to 290 Million Gallons of Drinking Water Each Day;  Will Protect the City against the Possibility of Drought and the Effects of Climate Change

Photos of the Project and Maps are available on DEP’s Flickr Page

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd today announced that the $3.2 billion Croton Filtration Plant was recently activated and water from the Croton water supply system has been reintroduced into the city’s distribution network for the first time since 2008.  Built beneath Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, preparatory site work and excavation for the 400,000 square foot facility began in 2004.  Construction commenced in 2007 and, at the height of the work, roughly 1,300 laborers were on-site.  In addition to building the plant, the 33-mile long New Croton Aqueduct was rehabilitated and three new water tunnels were constructed to bring water to the plant, and then from the plant back to the distribution system.  With the capacity to filter up to 290 million gallons of water a day, the state of the art facility can provide roughly 30 percent of the city’s current daily water needs.

‘The activation of the Croton Filtration Plant marks a significant moment in the history of New York City,” said DEP Commissioner Lloyd.  “The Filtration Plant will help to ensure the city has a safe and reliable supply of drinking water in the event of a future drought, provide critical flexibility as we deal with the effects of a changing climate and allow us to make needed repairs to other parts of the water supply system.  All New Yorkers should raise a glass of New York City tap water today and recognize the thousands of workers who have contributed to the completion of this critical facility.’”

Commentary:  The Croton water supply was first inaugurated in 1842 as an unfiltered water supply. Check out the October 14 post in this blog for some details. Shooting off 100 cannon is a great way to celebrate a new water supply. Follow this linkto a brochure describing the project that is located below ground. The photo above shows the golf course and park that are built on top of the plant.

Seawater Desalination Plant (Evaporation Method), Freeport, Texas

May 8, 1961Office of Saline Water, U.S. Dept. of the Interior opened first practical seawater conversion plant in U.S. in Freeport, TX; designed to produce about million gallons of water a day at cost of about $1.25 per thousand gallons; the large-scale evaporation method used then replaced by reverse osmosis as scientific advances have produced special polymers suitable for use as filtering membranes.

Commentary: Looks pretty clunky compared to today’s technology.

Reference:  “Business History.” Website http://www.businesshistory.com/index.php, Accessed November 14, 2012.

June 21, 1961: First Practical Desalination Plant; 1881: Filter Inventions

June 21, 1961: “President John Kennedy pressed a switch installed in his office in Washington DC to dedicate first practical plant for the conversion of seawater to drinking water; built in less than a year at a cost of $1.5 million at Freeport, Texas by the Dow Chemical Co.; capable of producing about a million gallons of water a day, supplying fresh water to the city of Freeport at a cost of about $1.25 per thousand gallons; May 8, 1961 – Office of Saline Water, U.S. Department of the Interior opened the plant; reverse osmosis has replaced large-scale evaporation method used then as scientific advances have produced special polymers suitable for use as filtering membranes.”

Filter Backwash Process

June 21, 1881: “Patrick Clark, of Rahway, NJ, received a patent for a ‘Process of Cleaning Filter-Beds;’ “…the novelty of the process consists in the employment of jets of water for the purpose of agitating a bed of sand or other suitable granular material which forms the upper part of the filter bed. By this means the silt and other impurities are separated from the sand, and, being of inferior specific gravity, rise above the filter bed, and are removed preferably by a natural current of water in which, when practicable, the apparatus will be immersed”; assigned to Newark Filtering Company (incorporated by Clark, John W. Hyatt, Albert Westervelt in December 1880); origin of modern rapid filter; June 21, 1881 – John W. Hyatt also received a patent for a “Filter”; could be cleaned mechanically; assigned to Newark Filtering Company; prototype for rapid filtration concept.”