Chino Desalters

Chino, California

The city of Chino Hills’ limited water supply was challenged by rapid residential growth and increasing water demands in the mid-1990s. Michael Baker was selected to provide critical water supply improvement strategies and to implement a broad range of water supply projects. One key element of our involvement was the opportunity to secure capacity from the Chino Desalter and through related expansions. As a result, we initiated the city’s involvement with the Chino Desalter expansion.

Our team provided engineering, planning and design services to the Chino Basin Desalter Authority (CDA) to expand their existing groundwater supply system. The project included evaluation of existing wells, a reverse osmosis water treatment plant, storage reservoir, pump station and transmission pipelines. We prepared a detailed feasibility report that evaluated multiple project alternatives, including capital and O&M costs. This report became the basis for CDA's selection of a preferred alternative that was advanced to the design phase.

We then prepared preliminary and final design documents for the entire $110 million program, which included:

  • Expansion of the Chino I Desalter from an eight-mgd facility to a 14-mgd facility
  • Design and construction of a new 10-mgd Chino II Desalter
  • Design and construction of 11 new groundwater wells and a raw water conveyance system to deliver untreated groundwater from the Chino Basin to both the Chino I and Chino II Desalters
  • Construction of water distribution facilities that included pump stations, pipelines and turn-out metering facilities

The new and expanded desalters remove nitrate and salts from the degraded groundwater basin and provide potable water to cities and agencies in the southwesterly region of California.

Our team continues to provide program support for both the CDA and the city of Chino Hills.

Challenges & Solutions

Water agencies throughout the West Region face difficult decisions on how much diversity of supply, redundancy and sustainability to their portfolios they can afford. We got way ahead of the curve for Chino Hills by helping to provide them more diversity in their water portfolios and acquire more water rights.”

Suad C.
National Water Practice Lead

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