When it is very hot and we don’t have any rain we use our handy ‘Desalination Plant’ which turns sea water into drinking water.
What we do with sea water
Desalination means ‘to remove the salt from’, and this what the Desalination Plant does. It takes sea water and then removes the salt so that we are able to use the water for drinking, cleaning and cooking. After the water has had all the salt removed it is pumped to Val de la Mare reservoir in St Peter, where it joins the treatment adventure before we send it to your taps.
From the sea to the reservoirs
Whenever we are short on water supplies, we take the water from the sea and pump it into a large storage pool, called the quarry pool. When we suck up the sea water, all of yucky things like seaweed are removed before it goes into the pool.
Then the sea water is sent from the quarry pool into ‘filters’which remove any bits from the sea water. Next the water passes through an even smaller filter (made of paper) which removes any left over bits.
After that, the sea water is pumped a great speed through lots of other small filters which actually remove the salt from the water. This is called a ‘Reverse Osmosis’ process. This fresh water that is left over is called ‘permeate’. This water is still not quite ready for drinking.
The permeate water is pumped to Val de la Mare reservoir where it is mixed with natural rain water in the reservoir and eventually sent to the treatment works for cleaning and then sent to your taps! Phew!
It’s really clever how we get drinking water from the sea but it does take a lot work and time to do it, so the Desalination Plant is only used when we are really low on water. So please don’t waste water!