ASTM Committee Working to Reinstate Desalination Standard

ASTM International’s water committee (D19) is working to reinstate a standard used in the desalination (the removal of salts and other materials) of seawater. The proposed standard (WK80178) will replace a discontinued standard using the Stiff and Davis stability index for reverse osmosis. The Stiff and Davis index is an easy way to calculate calcium carbonate scaling tendencies in brines.

According to ASTM International member Taylor Smith, the proposed standard will update and improve upon the original standard (D4582), which was discontinued in 2019. “This proposed standard is primarily for large-scale seawater desalination reverse osmosis plants,” says Taylor. “It is a practice that analyzes parameters in the water and has recommended adjustments to limit or prevent scaling of the membranes that otherwise would require aggressive cleaning.”

This effort directly relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6 on clean water and sanitation. ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at

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