Groundwater Desalination Facility

Sweetwater Authority

Customer Background

Sweetwater Authority provides water treatment and distribution to 200,000 people in a service area that covers 32 square miles near San Diego, California. It is a publicly owned water agency governed by an elected Board of Directors. Since 1977 Sweetwater Authority has provided its customers their water services, and over that period of time has sourced water from three primary sources: fresh groundwater wells, Sweetwater reservoir, and San Diego Formation wells which provide brackish groundwater. Enterprise Automation has provided automation and integration services for Sweetwater Authority since 2005.

Project Background

In 1999, Sweetwater Authority completed the Richard A. Reynolds Groundwater Desalination Facility which was originally designed to treat 4 MGD, the upgrade more than doubled that capacity to 10.0 MGD.

Over the past decade, Sweetwater Authority has sought to expand the facility to supplement their other sources of water. During the project design phase, Enterprise Automation assisted Sweetwater Authority in specifying and designing the controls related facility components. The plant expansion was completed and brought online in late 2017.

EA Solutions

Enterprise Automation’s responsibilities included complete controls system design and architecture. Components provided by Enterprise Automation as part of construction include 5 new local well control panels located throughout the city, 5 new plant panels for new equipment at the facility, and 21 new local VFD control panels for chemical dosing pumps. In addition to new panel design and fabrication, EA provided site survey services and updated panel documentation for all existing panels which are remaining. EA engineers worked with Sweetwater Authority and other design firm engineers to completely document the entire facility’s control strategy and functional operation. EA programmed and tested in-house all of the logic required to operate the plant, and verified with the customer in-house before moving to site for onsite deployment.

Key Insights

  • 1000+ IO points
  • Automated wells, RO system, chemical dosing, and FeMn removal
  • Full documented design through programming, startup and training

Key Technologies:

  • Modicon Quantum and M340 PLCs
  • CitectSCADA HMI
  • Vijeo Historian
  • Moxa Ethernet switches and firewalls
  • Freewave Ethernet radios
  • Ampla MES

Project Metrics:

  • EA’s Services Value: $3.1M
  • Project Length: 24 months 
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