Feasibility and Design of Seabed Gallery Intake Systems Along the Arabian Gulf Coast of Saudi Arabia with a Discussion on Gallery Intake Use for the Entire Arabian Gulf Region

  • Rinaldi Rachman
  • Thomas M. MissimerEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


The Arabian Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia contains a large number of existing desalination facilities of which many use the seawater reverse (SWRO) osmosis process. Many SWRO facilities have had historical operational problems with membrane biofouling. Subsurface intake system feasibility was assessed generally for the coastline of Saudi Arabia and a site-specific investigation was conducted at Ras Abu Ali Island. It was found that the common occurrence of sabkhas along the shoreline of Saudi Arabia causes the use of conventional vertical wells to be risky due to migration of hypersaline water into them. All well types do not appear to be feasible based on the shoreline and nearshore geological conditions. Beach galleries were assessed and are also subject to failure caused by migration of hypersaline water and possible burial by dune sands moving eastward from the desert into the Arabian Gulf. Seabed gallery intake systems were found to be the most technically feasible subsurface intake type which could provide high capacity SWRO facilities with feed water. However, the low slope from the beach seaward and the tide range necessitate that seabed galleries would have to be constructed over 500 m seaward of the beach. This distance would make the construction complex and would require future design and construction innovations. Perhaps the seabed gallery cells could be constructed adjacent to an artificial fill peninsula that would allow easier access and less expensive construction.


Hydraulic Conductivity Saudi Arabia Intake System Horizontal Well Feed Water 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Al-Mashharawi, S., Dehwah, A. H. A., Bandar, K. B., & Missimer, T. M. (2014). Feasibility of using a subsurface intake for SWRO facility south of Jeddah. Saudi Arabia: Desalination and Water Treatment. doi: 10.1080/19443994.2014.939870.Google Scholar
  2. Alsharhan, A. S., & Kendall, C. G. S. C. (2003). Holocene coastal carbonates and evaporites of the southern Arabian Gulf and their ancient analogues. Earth-Science Reviews, 61, 191–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). (2006). Standard test method for permeability of granular soils, Standard D2434-682006 (p. 5). West Conshohocken, PA: ASTM.Google Scholar
  4. Applegate, L. E., Erkenbrecher, C. W., & Winters, H. (1989). New chloramines process to control aftergrowth and biofouling in permasep B-10 RO surface seawater plants. Desalination, 74, 51–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Awerbuch, A. (2007). Hybrid systems and technology, Chapter 20. In M. Wilf (Ed.), The guidebook to membrane desalination technology (pp. 395–454). L’Aquila, Italy: Balaban Desalination Publications.Google Scholar
  6. Barrett, J. M., Bryck, J., Collins, M. R., Janonis, B. A., Logsdon, G. S., et al. (1991). Manual of design for slow sand filtration. Denver, Colorado: AWWA Research Foundation, American Water Works Association.Google Scholar
  7. Bar-Zeev, E., Berman-Frank, I., Liberman, B., Rahav, E., Passow, U., & Berman, T. (2009). Transparent exopolymer particles: Potential agents for organic fouling and biofilm formation in desalination and water treatment plants. Desalination and Water Treatment, 3, 136–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berktay, A. (2011). Environmental approach and influence of red tide to desalination process in the Middle East region. International Journal of Chemical Environmental Engineering, 2(3), 183–188.Google Scholar
  9. Berman, T. (2010). Biofouling: TEP-a major challenge for water separation. Filtration and Separation, 47(2), 20–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Berman, T., Mizrahi, R., & Dosoretz, C. G. (2011). Transparent exopolymer particles (TEP): A critical factor in aquatic biofilm initiation and fouling on filtration membranes. Desalination, 276, 184–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Berman, T., & Passow, U. (2007). Transparent exopolymer particles (TEP): An overlooked factor in the process of biofilm formation in aquatic environments. Nature Precedings,. doi: 10.1038/npre.2007.1182.1.Google Scholar
  12. Dehwah, A. H. A., Al-Mashhawari, S., & Missimer, T. M. (2014). Mapping to assess feasibility of using subsurface intakes for SWRO, Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia. Desalination and Water Treatment, 52, 2351–2361. doi: 10.1080/19443994.2013.862035.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. El Aleem, A., Al-Sugair, K. A. A., & Alamand, M. I. (1998). Biofouling in membrane processes for water desalination and reuse in Saudi Arabia. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation, 41, 19–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Emery, K. O. (1956). Sediment and water of the Persian Gulf. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 40, 2354–2383.Google Scholar
  15. Fryberger, S. G., Al-Sari, A. M., & Clisham, T. J. (1983). Eolian dune, interdune, sand sheet, and siliciclastic sabkha sediments of an offshore prograding sand sea, Dhahran area, Saudi Arabia. American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin, 67(2), 280–312.Google Scholar
  16. Ghaffour, N., Missimer, T. M., & Amy, G. (2013). Technical review and evaluation of the economics of desalination: Current and future challenges for better supply sustainability. Desalination, 309, 197–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hassan, A. M., Al-Jarrah, S., Al-Lohibi, T., Al-Mamdan, A., & Bakheet, L. M. (1989). Performance evaluation of SWCC SWRO plants. Desalination, 74, 37–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huisman, L., & Wood, W. E. (1974). Slow sand filtration. Switzerland, Geneva: World Health Organization, Geneva.Google Scholar
  19. Kampf, J., & Sadrinasab, M. (2006). The circulation of the Persian Gulf: A numerical study. Ocean Science, 2, 27–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lattamann, S., & Hoepner, T. (2008). Environmental impact and impact assessment of seawater desalination. Desalination, 220(1-3), 1–15.Google Scholar
  21. Lujan, L. R., Missimer, T. M. (2014). Technical feasibility of a seabed gallery system for SWRO facilities at Shoaiba, Saudi Arabia and regions with similar geology. Desalination and Water Treatment. doi: 10.1080/19443994.2014.909630.
  22. Maliva, R. G., & Missimer, T. M. (2010). Self-cleaning beach gallery design for seawater desalination plants. Desalination and Water Treatment, 13(1–3), 88–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mantilla, D., Missimer, T. M. (2014). Seabed gallery intake technical feasibility for SWRO facilities at Shuqaiq, Saudi Arabia and other global locations with similar coastal characteristics. Journal of Applied Water Engineering and Research.  10.1080/2349676.2014.895686.
  24. Matin, A., Khan, Z., Zaidi, S. M. J., & Boyce, M. C. (2011). Biofouling in reverse osmosis membranes for seawater desalination: Phenomena and prevention. Desalination, 281, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Missimer, T. M. (2009). Water supply development, aquifer storage, and concentrate disposal for membrane water treatment facilities (2nd ed.). Sugar Land, Texas: Schlumberger Water Services.Google Scholar
  26. Missimer, T. M., Ghaffour, N., Dehwah, A. H. A., Rachman, R., Maliva, R. G., & Amy, G. (2013). Subsurface intakes for seawater reverse osmosis facilities: Capacity limitation, water quality improvement, and economics. Desalination, 322, 37–51. doi: 10.1016/j.desal.2013.04.021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Nguyen, T., Roddick, F. A., & Fan, L. (2012). Biofouling of water treatment membranes: A review of the underlying causes, monitoring techniques and control measures. Membranes, 2, 804–840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pettijohn, F. J., Potter, P. E., & Siever, R. (1987). Sand and sandstone. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Purser, B. H. (Ed.). (1973). The Persian Gulf: Holocene carbonate sedimentation and diagenesis in a shallow epicontinental sea. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  30. Purser, B. H., & Seibold, E. (1973). The principal environmental factors influencing Holocene sedimentation and diagenesis in the Persian Gulf. In B. A. Purser (Ed.), The Persian Gulf: Holocene carbonate sedimentation and diagenesis in a shallow epicontinental sea (pp. 1–10). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rachman, R., Al-Mashharawi, S., & Missimer, T. M. (2014). Technical feasibility of a seabed gallery seawater intake at Ras Abu Ali Island, Arabian Gulf, Saudi Arabia. Desalination and Water Treatment. doi: 10.1080/19443994.2014.940221.
  32. Ray, C., Melin, G. R. B., & Linsky, R. B. (Eds.). (2002). Riverbank filtration: Improving source water quality. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Klumer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  33. Rosas, J., Lopez, O., Missimer, T. M., Coulibaly, K., Dehwah, A. H. E., Sesler, K., et al. (2014). Determination of hydraulic conductivity from grain size distribution for different depositional environments. Groundwater, 52(3), 399–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sesler, K., & Missimer, T. M. (2012). Technical feasibility of using seabed galleries for seawater RO intakes and pretreatment: Om Al Misk Island, Red Sea, Saudi Arabia. IDA Journal: Desalination and Water Reuse, 4(4), 42–48.Google Scholar
  35. Shimokawa, A. (2012). Fukuoka District desalination system with some unique methods. In International Desalination Intakes and Outfalls Workshop Proceedings, National Centre of Excellence in Desalination Adelaide, South Australia, (May 16–17).Google Scholar
  36. Shinn, E. A. (1969). Submarine lithification of Holocene carbonate sediments in the Persian Gulf. Sedimentology, 12, 109–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Swift, S. A., Bower, A. S. (2003). Formation and circulation of dense water in the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Journal of Geophysical Research 108(C1) 3005, 4–15.Google Scholar
  38. Tanner, W. F., Balsillie, J. H. (1995). Environmental clastic granulometry (Vol. 40, 142 p). Tallahassee: Florida Geological Survey Special Publication.Google Scholar
  39. Wagner, C. W., & van der Togt, C. (1973). Holocene sediment types and their distribution in the southern Arabian Gulf. In B. A. Purser (Ed.), The Persian Gulf: Holocene carbonate sedimentation and diagenesis in a shallow epicontinental sea (pp. 123–156). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wenzel, L. K. (1942). Methods for determining permeability of water-bearing materials with special reference to discharging-well methods (192 p). U. S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 887.Google Scholar
  41. Winters, H. (1994). Biofouling status of the Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) reverse osmosis (RO) plants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Unpublished consultant’s report to SWCC, 23 pp.Google Scholar
  42. Winters, H. (1997). Twenty years experience in seawater reverse osmosis and how chemicals in pretreatment affect fouling of membranes. Desalination, 110, 93–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Winters, H., & Isquith, L. (1995). A critical evaluation of pretreatment to control fouling in open seawater reverse osmosis—has it been a success? In Proceedings of the International Desalination Association World Congress on Desalination and Water Reuse, Abu Dhabi, UAE (Vol. 1, pp. 255–264), November 18–24, 1995.Google Scholar
  44. Yao, F. (2008). Water mass formation and circulation in the Persian Gulf and water exchange with the Indian Ocean. Open-Access Dissertations Paper 183, Coral Gables, Florida, University of Miami (RSMAS).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Water Desalination and Reuse CenterKing Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyThuwalSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.U.A. Whitaker College of EngineeringFlorida Gulf Coast UniversityFort MyersUSA

Personalised recommendations