Project Description

Innovative desalination plant first in the Caribbean to receive a USRC rating

Seven Seas Water Group is a multinational developer, focused on owning and operating decentralized water and wastewater treatment plants and businesses, pioneering the Water-as-a-Service® approach. With operations across the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America, Seven Seas delivers water and wastewater treatment solutions to governmental, municipal, industrial, and hospitality customers and owns more than 150 water and wastewater treatment plants.

Meeting supply challenges with resilient solutions

In November 2011, the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) was experiencing critical water shortages at the Randolph E. Harley Power Plant on St. Thomas, impacting 5,500 residents, local businesses, and several hundred thousand visiting tourists. The shortages were caused by the challenges WAPA faced in making much needed repairs to older thermal desalination equipment.

WAPA called on Seven Seas Water to provide an emergency supply of 2 MGD (7,570m3/d) in the shortest time frame possible. A fast-track solution was paramount to mitigating the economic and social impacts caused by the water shortage that was occurring during the peak tourist season.

In mid 2011, Seven Seas Water agreed with WAPA to construct a state of the art permanent Salt Water Reverse Osmosis (SWRO) system to replace WAPA’s aging thermal desalination equipment. Construction began in July 2011 and  the plant was commissioned June 2013. The plant replaced VI Water and Power Authority (WAPA) thermal desalination plants at the Randolph E. Harley Power Plant and now delivers 3.3 million gallons per day of fresh drinking water to the island’s residents.

Achieving the inaugural USRC Wind Rating

The Seven Seas Desalination Plant in St. Thomas USVI was the first to receive a US Resiliency Council Gold Wind Rating in 2022 for its innovative and resilient structural features. Its design is expected to minimize wind and storm surge impacts in a region of the world subject to extremely high hurricane standards. The plant also received a USRC Silver Earthquake Rating, an important feature given that the Virgin Islands has both hurricane and significant earthquake risks.

“Our objective is to ensure a sustainable and dependable water supply to regions experiencing water stress. To achieve this reliability, we prioritize building resilience to confront the potential weather and climate-related challenges inherent in these areas. Consequently, conducting this analysis and attaining USRC ratings are important steps to accomplishing our goals.” – Lester Bryan, Lead Project Engineer, Seven Seas Water.

“The USRC is very pleased to have awarded our first Building Performance Wind Rating to a facility that plays an essential part in ensuring that residents of the US Virgin Islands have access to reliable, clean water. We are proud acknowledge Seven Seas Water’s commitment to resilience and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.” – Evan Reis, Executive Director, US Resiliency Council.

Project Details

USRC Rating GOLD (Wind) SILVER (Earthquake)
Location St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Owner Seven Seas Water
Engineer of Record Paul Perreras PE, Inc.
Architect of Record ACI Building System, Inc
Builder J. Benton Construction
Facility Type Commercial
Construction New Design
Structural System Light Steel Frame
Contact (Email) Lester Bryan, Seven Seas Water