Disposal of RO concentrates emanating from inland brackish water desalination plants presents a difficult environmental problem. The solution adopted by Mekorot - the National Water Company of Israel - is to construct a 30 km waste disposal pipeline for collecting concentrates emanating from several RO desalination plants and discharging them into the sea. The discharged concentrates are highly supersaturated with respect to CaCO3. Scale precipitation during concentrate flow through the RO module is inhibited by the presence of anti-scalants. The retention time of the concentrate solution in the discharge pipe will exceed 100 hours. This raises the issue of the risk of scale precipitation in the discharge pipe that could impair its proper functioning. The aim of the present study was to provide data for guiding the design and operation of the disposal pipeline. The extent of the induction period prior to the onset of precipitation was measured in a pilot plant simulating flow of concentrate solutions dosed with anti-scalants. The parameters investigated were the scaling potential, the anti-scalant concentration and the presence of a mixture of several anti-scalants. The results of this study provide threshold scaling limits under various conditions.

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