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Title: Environmental audit for the registration of existing desalination plant at Helengili Island Resort, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives
Authors: CDE Consulting
Keywords: Desalination plant
Physical environment
Biological environment
Human environment
Legislative and regulatory considerations
Environmental impacts
Mitigation measures
Environmental performance and compliance
Enviromental management and monitoring
Environmental impact assessments
Issue Date: Sep-2011
Citation: CDE Consulting. (2011). Environmental audit for the registration of existing desalination plant at Helengili Island Resort, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives. Male': Maldives
Abstract: The purpose of this Environmental Audit report is to fulfill the requirements to get necessary environmental clearance from the Environmental Protection Agency to carry out the registration of the desalination plant at Helengili Island Resort, Kaafu Atoll. The project involves auditing of the existing desalination plant in Helengili Island Resort. Desalination system involves two plants with capacity 50 tons per day and one plant with capacity 12 tons per day. Sedimentation tank is sized at 10.18m3 approximately. There is one water storage tank with capacity 30,000 tons. The seawater intake is located on the western side of the island with a length of approximately 122 m from desalination plant room and beyond the house reef. The brine discharge point is located on adjacent to the intake pipe with a length of approximately 0.5 m from the shoreline. Disinfection is by chlorination and water distribution is piped network buried underground. The environmental impacts associated with this project include, increased noise levels, impingement and entrainment of marine organisms during seawater intake, impact on marine environment due to brine discharge, waste management hazards related to chemicals handling and disposal and beneficial impact of preserving the groundwater. There are indirect impacts associated with consumption of energy for desalination. Power generation has the potential to degrade air quality and contributes to global warming. In addition, fuel handling related to power generation is a potential risk for ground water and soil contamination from fuel spills and leaks. A number of mitigation measures are already in place. Facilities are located in the best area taking into account guest accommodation, staff accommodation and other guest areas. Desalination plant house building is elevated above ground level and attenuated to reduce noise level. Seawater intake is appropriately location and although brine discharge is just within the lagoon at half metre from shoreline. Seawater intake is appropriately designed to prevent/minimize entrainment of marine species. In order to protect the environment from potential fuel spills, proper pipelines are established and fuel storage is in bunded areas. The desalination system is in compliance with Desalination Regulation of Maldives. Source water is from the deep sea. Sedimentation tank is appropriately sized and located. The desalination plant house is located to minimize aesthetic impact. Capacity of desalination system exceeds the demand for water. Brine discharge is within the lagoon and location marine assessment indicates no further investigations needed. Desalination plant house includes channel ways for drainage and is kept clean and tidy with clear pathways. Chemicals are organized with proper labeling. Operation manuals are available and easily accessible. The structural integrity of the facilities are considered good. However, product water indicates presence of total coliform with the probable cause that disinfection is inadequate. One of the main recommendations of the audit is repeat product water quality tests to rule out possible causes. In the event repeat samples show contamination, necessary steps should be taken. Environmental management plan is provided particularly for desalination units, product water quality, fire prevention, chemicals handling and waste management. A monitoring plan is proposed to observe any changes taking place due to the operation of desalination plant. In the event that monitoring indicates that any environmental quality is deteriorating to unacceptable levels, the proponent will correct operation procedures that are contributing to the problem and/or undertake necessary engineering installations.
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