With the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in San Diego County is taking extraordinary steps to ensure there is uninterrupted production and delivery of safe and reliable water for San Diego County. As of Friday, 10 workers are quarantined inside the plant for the next three weeks, monitoring and overseeing this critical regional facility.
The following is a statement from Poseidon Water, manager of the Claude "Bud" Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant.
"As manager of the Claude "Bud" Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant in San Diego County, our top priority is to ensure the health and safety of the employees and compliance with stringent state and federal standards for the production of a safe and healthy drinking water supply. With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking extraordinary steps to ensure there is uninterrupted production and delivery of safe and reliable water for San Diego County. In response to the rapidly evolving situation, we have been working with our Plant Operator (IDE Americas Inc.) to assemble a team of mission-critical employees to shelter in place at the Carlsbad plant. The team members, each of whom have voluntarily agreed to shelter in place, will be charged with ensuring continued water supply production and overseeing this critical regional facility, which has provided San Diego County with more than 62 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water in its 4.5 years of operation. The volunteer team members will live on site starting March 19, 2020 and isolate themselves at the facility for the next 21 days to maintain plant operations and avoid personnel exposure. These volunteers will be working in two different shifts throughout each 24-hour period to handle all operations and maintenance needs.
These are unprecedented times, and the decision to have a team shelter in place at the Carlsbad Desalination Plant was not made lightly. However, we believe it is a necessary precaution and prudent safety measure to help ensure the uninterrupted delivery of a safe and reliable drinking water supply. The on-site team will sustain plant operations and maintenance for the duration of the 21-day shelter in place period to ensure continued production of high-quality drinking water, in compliance with all state and federal drinking water standards. Throughout its isolation, the team will receive supplies, including food and other perishable items, via daily no-contact deliveries.
While the on-site team shelters in place, a second team is remaining in isolation at home and fully prepared to take over plant operations should any situation arise that would necessitate a change in staffing or if the COVID-19 threat extends beyond 21 days. Poseidon Water is working in close coordination with the San Diego County Water Authority, IDE Americas Inc. and the California State Water Resources Control Board Division of Drinking Water and will continue to evaluate the situation and take any necessary steps to ensure uninterrupted production and delivery of safe drinking water from the Carlsbad Desalination Plant."