Adelaide’s $1.83 billion Desalination Project has reached a milestone with seawater flooding the plant via the 1.4 km intake tunnel, connecting ocean and land for the first time.


The plant is expected to produce the first desalinated water by the end of July, reaching the 100 billion litre annual capacity by the end of 2012.


The first reverse osmosis and ultra-filtration membranes, part of the treatment technology used to desalinate water,  have arrived at the site and  are being installed into the reverse osmosis tubes. The membranes will desalinate the first litres of seawater to come through the plant.


The reverse osmosis process involves pushing seawater through super-fine membranes at extremely high pressure, removing up to 99 per cent of the salt and inorganic matter.


The project is being undertaken by the SA Water and AdelaideAqua D&C Consortium, and is expected to deliver about half of Adelaide’s annual water supply.