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Turning salt groundwater into sustainable drinking water


Madinaty - Cairo, Egypt


Drinking water production: 14,200 m3/day

Providing drinking water to New Cairo

Madinaty is a new city development east of Cairo, Egypt. Its infrastructure for water production, wastewater treatment and reuse services up to 800.000 inhabitants.

Waterleau has designed, built, commissioned and is successfully operating Madinaty’s Water Treatment Plant (WTP), producing 10,000 m3 of drinking water per day from saline groundwater.

Desalination: from 70% to 92,5% recovery

Each day 14,200 m3 of saline groundwater is sourced from 10 different bore wells, and transformed into clean water using multimedia sand filtration and AQUALITY® RO membrane technology, achieving overall water recovery performances of up to 70% in the first set-up.

2018 process data confirm consistent recovery and salt rejection at varying feed water quality. The AQUALITY®RO is configured in three parallel lines, and permeate conductivity and concentrate conductivity behave fairly constant. While the WTP performance is very satisfactory, an environmental concern has recently emerged due to the large amount of very saline reject water being discharged in open evaporation ponds.

To improve the WTP sustainability, Waterleau has implemented an upgrade brine concentrator solution, reducing the amount of reject water and increasing the permeate production. Apart from a better environmental protection, a more economical production has been achieved.

In its original UF/RO setup, the discharged reject water contained the salts and impurities. Upgrading the reverse osmosis process into a AQUALITY® High Recovery Reverse Osmosis increased the water recovery from 70% up to 92.5%.

Membrane filtration
Membrane filtration


Increasing the system recovery without increasing groundwater intake is achieved via the AQUALITY® HRRO unit, treating the combined reject flows from the existing RO skids, lowering the amount of brine to dispose by 75%.

The remaining brine reject is being discharged into deep brine wells without increasing the extraction rate from the groundwater wells. With more water recovered, the production cost per liter is also decreasing, contributing to a more sustainable urban development.

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