PROJECT: Example 1



This is the largest brackish water desalination plant in the Caribbean. The plant began producing drinking water in just 15 months after signing of a water supply agreement with The Barbados Water Authority.

The brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO) desalination plant in Barbados was installed and commissioned in February 2000, it has a production capacity of 30,000 m3/day (7.9 MGD). The plant was built by Ionics Freshwater Ltd under a 15 year Design Build Own Operate (DBOO) contract with The Barbados Water Authority.

This Spring Garden facility was recognised as being necessary to augment existing groundwater supplies after the island experienced a severe drought during 1994- 1995. The desalination facility is capable of supplying drinking water to approximately 20% of the population of Barbados. The feed water source is from ten brackish water wells. The plant utilizes ultra-low pressure brackish water reverse osmosis membranes and energy recovery turbines both of which helps to optimise the overall energy requirements of the system.



Spring Garden BWRO Facility:

  • Well Water Intake: ten eighty foot deep wells
  • Pre-Treatment: antiscalant dosing and cartridge filtration
  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) Trains:

o Two trains totalling 256 pressure vessels


o 1,536 low pressure spiral wound membranes

  • Operating Pressure: 7.6 bar
  • Post –Treatment: hydrated lime and sodium hypochlorite


After post-treatment the potable water is directed to a site storage tank where it is constantly monitored for water quality and is then transferred to the water authority reservoir for distribution.

The treated product water meets the World Health Organisation (WHO) water quality standards and has operated trouble free since commissioning.

After over ten years of operation the original membranes are still a achieving water quality which meets the water authority’s product water specification requirement of < 250 mg/l TDS.




PROJECT:  Example 2




Membrane Bioreactor (MBR) systems were introduced to Tobago to prevent increasing marine pollution in the coastal waters of the tourism rich and environmentally sensitive southwest coast of the island.

Ionics Freshwater Limited has designed, built and operated two 30,000 gpd MBR plants which were retrofitted conventional wastewater treatment systems. Both systems have now been handed over to the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) of Trinidad and Tobago.





Tobago is a thriving tourist destination located in the southern-most Caribbean. The Tobago House of Assembly was concerned about the performance and impact of the discharge of treated wastewater from two existing conventional domestic sewage treatment plants. The concern was for the local residential community and the marine environment. The major issues of concern were relating to odour, unsightly foaming,  treatment capacity overload and the impact of wastewater discharge on the marine environment, particularly of the Buccoo Reef.



MBR Protecting the Environment in Tobago

  • The Tobago House of Assembly responsibly selected membrane technology to solve the wastewater issues
  • Ionics Freshwater Limited quickly and cost effectively retrofitted both of the conventional wastewater treatment system with membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology.


The consistent high quality of the effluent from the MBR plants has now greatly improved protection of the marine environment around the Buccoo reef.  The wastewater is treated to a standard acceptable for non-potable reuse such as re-injection to the aquifer and marine discharge.

Both plants have been operating since 2003 and 2004 and are now operated by the local municipality, The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) of Trinidad and Tobago.



  • We are currently working on design proposals for a number of major planned projects in the Caribbean for reverse osmosis (RO) desalination and membrane bioreactor (MBR) technology.
  • Ionics Freshwater Limited has a number of membrane bioreactor (MBR) installations operating in the Caribbean islands in addition to our experience in membrane desalination.
  • If you have a water and wastewater treatment need or are planning a new development project, plant upgrade  or new industrial facility, membrane technology could be an appropriate and cost effective solution.
  • Ionics Freshwater Limited, backed by its two shareholders has the financial and technical strength to complete your projects on time and on budget.  The company blends the technical expertise of GE Water with the Williams Industries Inc. tradition of ‘providing high quality products and services at fair prices’.
  • Some clients who may not want to make a significant initial capital expenditure may be interested in our design, build, own, operate financing model (DBOO). This approach shifts the technical and operational risks to us, the specialist plant installer and operator. We will design, build and finance the project and handle all aspects of the operations in exchange for a fixed fee from the client based on the volume of water or wastewater treated. We believe this model provides best value to you the client.