SWRO feed water quality improvement using subsurface intakes in Oman, Spain, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Saudi Arabia

Rinaldi Rachman, Sheng Li, Thomas M. Missimer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Water quality sampling and analysis conducted at four global locations, along the shorelines of the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Caribbean Sea, demonstrated that subsurface intakes (wells) provide a robust degree of feed water treatment close to that provided by energy-intensive, conventional pretreatment systems. SDI values were reduced in virtually all cases to below 3. In vertical wells, from 70 to 100% of the TEP and 50% of the TOC and DOC found in natural seawater were removed in the aquifer. Reduction in the concentration of the organic fractions was selective based on molecular weight with the biopolymers nearly fully removed. Humic substances, building blocks, and light organic substances were removed at lesser percentages. Site geology was not the predominant factor affecting the removal efficiency, but the length of the flow path from the sea to the wells and the hydraulic retention time appear to be most significant. A comparison between vertical wells, a tunnel intake system, and a horizontal drain system at Alicante, Spain, demonstrated that the vertical wells performed best followed by the tunnel system, and the horizontal drain system which showed a breakthrough of algae and a very high organic carbon concentration. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-100
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: Research funding for this paper was provided by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Water Desalination and Reuse Center. The authors thank Mr. Samir Al-Mashharawi for his assistance in sampling of the wells and arrangement for transport and receiving of the water samples. Dr. Harvey Winters and Mr. Jared Fulton, Manager of the Turks and Caicos Water Company, provided assistance in obtaining samples for his facility. We also express appreciation to Mr. Marcelino Linas, Mr. Ashraf Kawari, and Mr. Jaime Berrocal, Desalination Plant Operations Manager of Sur, Buhayrat and Alicante respectively.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'SWRO feed water quality improvement using subsurface intakes in Oman, Spain, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Saudi Arabia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this