Ashkelon desalination plant producing 3,500 cu.m. of water per hour

Ashkelon desalination plant producing 3,500 cu.m. of water per hour
Globes - August 25, 2005
by Dalia Tal


Capacity will be doubled to 7,000 cubic meters per hour, 100 million cubic meters per year, by the end of 2005.

The Ashkelon desalination plant began delivering water to the National Water Carrier, which will carry it to southern Israel, yesterday. 3,500 cubic meters of water per hour is being delivered to the Negev in the first stage. Capacity will be doubled to 7,000 cubic meters per hour, 100 million cubic meters per year, by the end of 2005.

The VID consortium built the Ashkelon desalination plant under the BOT (build, operate, transfer) method. The desalinated water costs NIS 0.52 per cubic meter. Water is produced by the reverse osmosis method, in which salt water is forced through a semipermeable membrane impermeable to salt molecules. The salt is then returned to the sea.

The desalinated water is considered especially good, since it contains no contaminants, salts, or other substances. The water arriving at households is mixed with ordinary water, in order to restore substances needed by the body. Desalinated water is soft water, which saves use of laundry powder, fabric softeners, and substances to remove calcium deposits in pots, pans and pipes.

With the start of operations by the Ashkelon desalination plant a few weeks ago, concern arose that water reaching households would have an earth color from rust particles leached from water pipes. To prevent this, ordinary water is added to the desalinated water, and no incidents of rust-colored water have occurred.