Swansea Water District

Palmer River Desalination Project

Swansea, MA

Project Summary

The Swansea Desalination Project included the development of a new surface water intake in a coastal, tidal river, a new water treatment plant, a new river diffuser, storage tanks, pumping stations and several miles of pipelines. Hoyle Tanner was program manager and lead engineer for this innovative project. The treatment plant treats brackish water from the Palmer River and an existing well supply. The river water receives microfiltration pre-treatment for the reverse osmosis desalination process. The well supply is aerated and filtered using microfiltration to reduce carbon dioxide, iron and manganese and remove organic precursors that result in chlorinated disinfection byproducts.  The treated well water is then blended with the desalted river water to provide pH stabilization. The treatment plant is sized to produce 2.2 mgd. Waste streams produced discharge to on-site solids dewatering lagoons and the river.  


  • Initial Source Testing 
  • Feasibility Assessment 
  • Program Management 
  • Permitting 
  • Treatment Pilot-testing 
  • Design 
  • Bidding Administration 
  • Construction Administration 
  • Resident Project Representation 
  • State Funding 

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