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 originally had a production capacity of 30,000 m3. The plant was built by Ionics Freshwater Ltd under a 15 year Design Build Own Operate (DBOO) contract with The Barbados Water Authority. In 2018, plant production capacity was increased to 42,000 m3/day.

The 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 currently capable of supplying drinking water to approximately 30% of the population of Barbados. The feed water source is from 18 brackish water wells. The plant utilizes ultra-low pressure brackish water reverse osmosis membranes and energy recovery turbines both of which help to optimise the overall energy requirements of the system.

Spring Garden BWRO Facility:

  • Well Water Intake: eighty foot deep wells
  • Pre-Treatment: liquid antiscalant dosing and cartridge filtration
  • Reverse Osmosis (RO) Trains:
    • 3 trains with low pressure spiral wound membranes.
  • Operating Pressure: 6 bar
  • Post –Treatment: hydrated lime and sodium hypochlorite for pH and microbial control

After post-treatment the potable water is directed to site storage tanks where product water 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 the first 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. The membranes were since replaced as a preventative maintenance measure and the plant has continued to operate efficiently.