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Environmental Impacts of Brine from the Seawater Desalination Plants

박선영 1 서진성 1 Taeyun Kim 2

1한국환경정책평가연구원
2한국환경정책·평가연구원

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ABSTRACT

The need for seawater desalination is increasing in terms of securing various water resources, but few studies are available as for the environmental impact of hypersaline concentrated water (brine) discharged from desalination plants. Domestic studies are concentrated mainly on toxicity evaluation that phytoplankton, zooplankton larvae and green algae (Ulva pertusa) are negatively affected by concentrated water. The mortality of Paralichthys olivaceus showed a linear relationship with increasing salinity, and Oryzias latipes died 100% at concentrations above 60 psu. Foreign studies included monitoring cases as well as toxicity evaluations. The number of species decreased around the area where the concentrated water discharged. The hypersaline concentrated water affects the pelagic and benthic organisms. However, the fishes escaped when exposed to salinity, and the pelagic and benthic organisms resistant to salinity survived the hypersaline environment. The salinity limit and distance from the outlet was presented as the regulatory standard for bine discharge. There were differences in regulatory standards among country and seawater desalination plants, and these regulatory standards have been strengthened recently. In particular, California Water Boards were revised to ensure that the maximum daily salinity concentration does not exceed 2 psu above the ambient salinity level within 100 m of the outlet.

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* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.