GE Helps Catalonia Make the Most of Water Supply

GE and Aigües Ter-Llobregat (ATLL) have announced the opening of one of the world’s largest and most technologically advanced river water desalination plants, near Barcelona, Spain, according to a May 19 press release.

The plant employs advanced electrodialysis reversal (EDR) technology from GE to tap the Llobregat River and to ensure a clean, reliable water supply for Barcelona and the surrounding Catalonia region.

The EDR plant, operated by water utility Aigües Ter-Llobregat in Abrera, treats 58 million gallons/day. It runs in conjunction with ATLL’s existing water treatment plant, which uses conventional treatment technology. The EDR plant’s output is blended with the output of the conventional plant to produce a combined stream that is adequate for the region’s needs, meets all water quality standards, and is cost-effective.

The EDR technology employs an electrochemical separation process to remove salts and organic matter found in many source waters such as the Llobregat River, along with potentially harmful chlorination byproducts. EDR provides an exceptionally high water recovery rate of 90 percent and maintains consistent water quality despite the source river’s changing temperature and salinity. The system also resists fouling, which can decrease its performance and service life.