Offshore Watermakers Onshore

All the oil and gas platforms I’ve been to have devices colloquially known as watermakers. They are desalination units that convert seawater into potable water. They usual work by reverse osmosis, as I assume thermal desalinators use too much power. Examples of watermakers are by C’Treat and Village Marine.

The commercial ones you see installed in front of shops in Malaysia work on the same principles, though they don’t work under the same conditions (they only filter good old M’sian tap water). 

Picture - RO maker

You know the offshore watermaker isn’t working correctly when water tastes brackish.


11 Responses to Offshore Watermakers Onshore

  1. jabbathehutt says:

    i wonder what happens if we reverse osmosis urine through the unit.

  2. Wata says:

    Been there. In space, it’s being done by NASA. On earth, it’s been done by Singapore, and refreshingly called NEWater.

  3. sohas says:

    Seriously? Well, is the cost worth it?

  4. Wata says:

    Sohas: If you are talking about NEWater, then yes, it is a serious effort by Singapore to diversify water source. Weill, maybe not pristine urine, but definitely wastewater.

  5. Andres says:

    A reverser osmosis watermaker will remove the dissolve solids of the waste water, just like it does with seawater there fore making it potable; in the case of waste water another concern will be bacterial infection that thrives in such environments, to complement the reverse osmosis system you will have to use a ultra violet sterilizer to kill any harmful microorganism.

  6. jabbathehutt says:

    Yeah, Newater have been taking the brunt of jokes across the causeway. Still remember the Lee Hsien Loong taking a drink to prove its ok. It’s not too bad actually, because all out waste get recycled naturally by evaporation, and then raining down catchment area.

    The real test is an engineer taking a sip of reverse osmosis produced water….. hahahaha….. i know i wouldn’t

    Any thought about that?

  7. sohas says:

    yeah man….the first person, for the first round of tests would have to be confident enough to be a man(or woman) to do it!!! hahaha

  8. Wata says:

    Andres: for the offshore units I’m used to, the watermaker output is stored in a potable water tank. The outlet of that tank goes through a UV sterilizer. I guess the difference between the units we are used to is that my tanks tend to be bigger, and potentially have a longer residence time (ChemEng!), hence may be contaminated if the outlet wasn’t treated.

  9. Andres says:

    That’s correct Wata, the longer the water sits in a tank ( which offers extraordinary conditions for colonies of microorganisms) the bigger the chances of a contamination. Some people like to treat the tank with chemicals like chlorine or peroxide but to tell you the truth I like to use Ultraviolet Light or maybe Ozone which is a stronger than a regular UV. I will use the chemicals though on occasions when the whole system is sanitize for first use or for schedule maintenance.

  10. Keon says:

    I believe that u have dealt with C’treat brand watermaker before. My other previous project engineers have been highly recommending to use this brand compared to others. Any good/bad experiences to be shared with ??

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