The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Project, which was dedicated and placed into service on December 14, 2015, is the Western Hemisphere’s largest, most technologically advanced, and energy efficient seawater desalination plant. The project provides a new supply of fresh drinking water—the Pacific Ocean—to serve the demands of 400,000 San Diego residents.

Tetra Tech, under contract with Poseidon Resources, prepared the 30 percent design drawings for the 54 million gallon per day (MGD) seawater desalination plant and the 10-mile, 54-inch conveyance pipeline.

In December of 2012, Tetra Tech started work under contract with Kiewit Shea Desalination (KSD) to provide final design services for the conveyance pipeline.

The conveyance pipeline was designed in six design packages to allow construction to progress on multiple headings while the design and approvals were completed. Tetra Tech was challenged to have the initial design package completed, permitted, and approved for construction three months after receiving notice to proceed. The entire $154-million pipeline was scheduled to be completed in 33 months. Staff throughout Southern California were immediately mobilized and worked tirelessly to obtain approvals to meet the tight deadlines.

Tetra Tech provided the following services for the project:

  • Preliminary (30 percent) design of plant and pipeline
  • Final (100 percent) pipeline design
  • Agency coordination
  • Traffic control
  • Fiber optic cable design
  • Flow regulatory structure
  • Connections to existing regional pipelines
  • Submittal review

Tetra Tech secured all approvals in time to commence construction on the first portion of the pipeline in San Marcos, which connects to the desalination plant in Carlsbad.

The Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Project is transforming clean and safe drinking water, providing residents of San Diego County, California, with a drought-proof, reliable, high-quality drinking water solution.