Characterization of water discharges from two thermal power/desalination plants in Oman

Sabah A. Abdul-Wahab*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The largest impact of the desalination process on the environment occurs at the desalination plant's outfalls. This study is a field survey, with the focus being to measure the physical properties of the seawater in the vicinity of the two thermal power/desalination plants in Oman: namely: (1) Al-Ghubrah Power/Desalination Plant (GPDP), and (2) Barka Power/Desalination Plant (BPDP). The impacts of water discharged from the two plants on the surrounding areas receiving seawater, were measured in order to compare and assess present conditions. BPDP has adopted some disposal techniques in the design of their outfalls in order to reduce the impacts of discharged concentrated brine on the surrounding environment. In the vicinity of the two plants at GPDP and BPDP, measurements were taken at different stations, and at different distances from their outfalls. Some of the stations were located near intakes of the two plants, while others were located at various distances and directions from the vicinity of the outfalls. At each station, the general physical properties were measured simultaneously in the water at various depths. These parameters include the components of the seawater, namely temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, turbidity and chlorophyll a. The 'results indicated that the excellent design of the outfalls at BPDP allows the water discharged into the water body to be spread over the surface and thus reduces the effect on the property changes at the outfalls. The findings can be used as a baseline for the future monitoring of the impacts, and environmental management programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-337
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Engineering Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Chlorophyll a
  • Conductivity
  • Discharges
  • Dissolved oxygen
  • Power/desalination plants
  • Salinity
  • Seawater temperature
  • Turbidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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