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North America - English

Prefiltration to RO for Drinking Water, Chile



Project ID




Drinking Water

Water source


Filtration solution

Stage 1: 3 x SAF-4500

Stage 2: 5 x AMF 93K


The limited availability of water resources in northern Chile has become one of the most important topics in the country’s agenda due to the importance of these resources to the economic activities of the region.The availability and proper management of water are key points to the country’s long term sustainability. These factors raise an enormous strategic challenge, taking place in Chile’s northern region, where cycles of water scarcity and drought are common.This effort includes the development of all the region economic activities, care for the environment and also the quality of life in the local communities.The vast desert in north of Chile is rich with copper deposits so mining is the most important present and future production activity of this area.For mining the copper and operating the mines, large quantities of water in various quality levels are needed, but due to the desert climate of this region the very little fresh water available cannot meet the demand.Since the region is located near the sea, the Esperanza Michilla mine management decided to construct a seawater desalination plant, the purpose of which is to supply drinking water to the mine workers village.


The RO seawater facility is designed to supply desalinated water at a flow rate of 100M3/h, hence the pumping and pre-treatment system is designed to handle 200 M3/h of water. The pumping of water from the sea is done via a pipe immersed deep in the sea. The system stages are as follows: • Pumping point in the sea • Preliminary coarse filtration of 80-100 micron • Fine filtration; the company stressed that it is not interested in regular media filters and insists on rather different technology • Cartridges • R.O. membrane system


Amiad has designed and supplied a two-stage filtration system: 1. The first stage comprises of three RL 4500 SAF filters with a filtration degree of 80 micron. 2. The second stage comprises of five 93K AMF rubber-coated filters with a filtration degree of 3 micron. The system is controlled by a single controller operating various functions such as cleaning of the screen filters, AMF² filter flushing, the AMF² flushing pump skid and the opening and closing of valves. To avoid malfunctions associated with the marine environment, only electrically operated valves have been incorporated into the system.


The system is successfully operating since January 2010, supplying various quantities of water.