Reverse osmosis filtration has become the solution for many municipalities beset with water shortage problems. As annual average rainfall continues to dwindle in arid climates, the demand for clean water continues to skyrocket. Water desalination via reverse osmosis filtration systems is considered a viable solution in such a scenario.
On June 4th, 2015 Clearwater, Florida just completed its first large scale
brackish reverse osmosis treatment plant. Before the water treatment plant was
built, the city of Clearwater purchased water in bulk from a regional supplier
to supplement the needs they couldn't meet by collecting from the Floridan aquifer.
This is common practice for many coastal cities in the United States.
The idea for Clearwater's large scale brackish reverse osmosis plant came from
the city plan to preemptively try to cut cost on water while also protecting
the surrounding natural environment. A civil and environmental engineering firm
was tapped during the project’s early stages to boost efficiency, minimize the
environmental impact, and ensure long term cost benefits for the city. The
plant will produce 6.25 million gallons of water daily.
Reverse osmosis of brackish water uses less energy than sea-water RO. Not
surprisingly, visionaries in San Francisco have also contemplated the idea of
tapping the potential underground brackish water sources in San Mateo as an
alternative to the more obvious solution of desalinating Bay water. Using
reverse osmosis with brackish water is the first step in helping small
communities become self-sufficient to reduce water import expenses.