Desalination plants are being used increasingly in inland areas of many countries for supplying water for domestic purposes. If these areas are too far away from the sea, the opportunity to dispose the reject brine (also known as concentrate, reject water, or wastewater) in the ocean no longer exists, given that ocean disposal is the common practice for plants located in coastal areas. Evaporation ponds are especially suitable to dispose of reject brine from inland desalination plants in arid and semi-arid areas due to the abundance of solar energy. In irrigation projects facing a soil salinity problem due to a shallow saline groundwater table, evaporation ponds are also in use. Saline water tables are lowered by pumping or tile draining and the drainage water is stored in evaporation ponds. While evaporation ponds have long been used for salt production in many parts of the world, the disposal of concentrate from desalination plants in inland areas using evaporation ponds is of much significance both economically and environmentally. Guidelines are needed for the design, construction, maintenance, and operation of evaporation ponds for reject brine disposal in an economical and environmentally-sensitive manner. This paper provides a critical review of concentrate disposal technology using evaporation ponds. Relevant topics are also covered including chemistry of brine, brine disposal methods, use of evaporation ponds in agriculture, determination of evaporation rate, and evaporation enhancement methods.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Filtration and Separation