Stantec, a global leader in sustainable design and engineering, has partnered with the Palmdale Water District (PWD) and carbon removal startup Capture6 to design a first-of-its-kind Advanced Water Treatment (AWT) demonstration facility with novel brine management technology in Palmdale, California.

The AWT demonstration facility is part of PWD’s Pure Water Antelope Valley (Pure Water AV) indirect potable reuse program, which will produce approximately 5 million gallons per day (MGD) of potable water using tertiary effluent from the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts’ Palmdale Water Reclamation Plant. Stantec is providing program management services for Pure Water AV.   

“Incorporating Capture6’s technology into indirect and direct potable reuse facilities could be a win-win solution for our inland clients, including PWD, and Capture6,” said Zakir Hirani, vice president and Water Reuse sector leader for Stantec. “The partnership is a powerful one, addressing the critical need to cost-effectively dispose brine while recovering additional water for reuse and removing carbon that supports climate resiliency. We are thrilled we could facilitate this synergy between PWD and Capture6.”

The full-scale AWT facility for Pure Water AV is expected to produce approximately 700,000 gallons of brine per day from reverse osmosis (RO). As an inland potable reuse facility with no access to ocean outfall, disposal of RO brine could cost PWD millions of dollars per year. Capture6’s technology uses a chemical produced from the RO brine to extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce clean water and chemicals, which can both be reused.  

“With Capture6’s technology, there is zero discharge of brine,” said Scott Rogers, engineering manager for PWD. “Not only is this a sustainable solution, but it will ultimately save ratepayers money and help meet PWD’s recycled water goals.”

The cost for additional water recovery and carbon removal by Capture6’s technology can be partially offset by federal incentives for carbon removal and funding from private corporations for their carbon footprint reduction. The treatment process used by Capture6 could eliminate the need for brine disposal and produce byproduct chemicals that can be reused at the AWT facilities or sold to industrial users.

“We are enthusiastic about this partnership with PWD and Stantec as we work together to increase water production and remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” said Dr. Ethan Cohen-Cole, CEO and founder of Capture6.

The demonstration facility will be used to assess the technical feasibility and economic viability of Capture6’s technology in potable reuse application before it is considered for the full-scale project. Upon successful implementation, the technology could eliminate PWD’s need for about 2 miles of pipeline and 72 acres of evaporative ponds to dispose brine.

Stantec has worked on numerous potable reuse projects, many of which are inland and face enormous brine disposal costs. Knowledge gained from the demonstration facility will help Stantec develop cost-effective brine management solutions for municipal and industrial clients.