Fresh Water Now Flowing
in Kingdom of Jordan
The capital city of Amman, Jordan, faced a crisis where 40 percent of its four million inhabitants only had running water from their taps one day a week. To address this critical shortage, the United States and the country of Jordan embarked on an ambitious development plan to convert the brackish water from three large “wadis” (streambeds) near the Dead Sea into fresh drinking water. The plan utilized reverse osmosis as part of a desalination process to recover up to 85 percent of water put through its planned water treatment plant. The project called for power units and water pumping station controls to operate the valves to controlling the flow of water in and out of the pumping stations.
Water Pumping Station Controls & Power Units
Sorensen Systems was privileged to provide six complete hydraulic power operating systems, one each for six pumping stations in series, along the pipeline to lift the treated water from the desalination plant to the National Park Pump Station site in southern Amman. Today, approximately 700,000 people, about one third of the water distributed in the Greater Amman area receive water directly from this system. The project delivers 100,000 cubic meters of water each day to the city, a distance of 25 miles.
The power units provide the system with a nominal 2,000 psi self-contained, pressurized hydraulic fluid system. This system is capable of simultaneously operating the valves at the specified speeds against the specified operating head requirements. As a safeguard, the hydraulic fluid system was designed to immediately close the valves upon a loss of main electrical power or emergency shut down condition.
Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment
The project involves three “wadis” in the region, Ma’in, Zara Springs, and Mujib. The brackish water available from these streambeds run through a reverse osmosis (RO) desalination process. RO desalination has gained popularity around the world as an efficient, reliable and cost-effective technology. The RO process uses the osmotic pressure difference between the saltwater and the pure water to remove salts from the water. During the process, there needs to be energy to operate the pumps that raise the pressure applied to feedwater. To accomplish this, a 25-mile transmission pipeline conveys the potable water to Amman through six pumping stations.
An important part of the design requirement was providing the system with dual automatically alternating pumps. In the event of one pump’s failure, the other pump will automatically start. The valves to performing the specified functions and operations required only a single 400 volt, 3-Phase, 50 Hz electrical connection.
Besides potable water, the project provided other benefits to the people of Amman. It will prevent the over-pumping of groundwater aquifers. Since aquifers are reserves against future shortages, recovering their full storage capacity is critical. Further, it will promote development in the outlying cities by freeing up water resources.