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Construction Of South Coast Desalination Plant Challenged On Basis Of Environmental Concerns

(Photo by John Palminteri)
Work underway on key pipeline for Santa Barbara's desalination plant

The environmental watchdog group Santa Barbara Channelkeeper is asking the Santa Barbara City Council to come up with a more environmentally sound way to draw water from the ocean.

The water would be drawn through a piping system and into a desalination plant that is scheduled to start operating again later this year.

The city is using an intake pipe with a screen but Channelkeeper says that if the process were below the floor of the ocean and not above it, there would be less of a chance that micro marine organisms would be drawn in.

The regional water quality control board has not enforced the sub-surface policy on this plant since it is a reactivation of the facility, permitted in the 1990's, instead of a new facility.

City officials say they are reactivating the plant with environmental concerns in mind.

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