Conventional surface water intakes do not provide any significant natural filtering of feedwater or “intake pretreatment” prior to the entry of the water into the treatment plant. Whenever possible, it is desirable to use an alternative design concept to produce the best quality feedwater possible for the membrane treatment plant. The most cost-effective design concept is unique to each site based on the local geology, surface water physical and chemical characteristics, the structural stability of the area, and local regulatory constraints.