There is an old saying that Hindsight is 20/20. Yet even 50 years ago the Southwest Florida water supply was a concern to the civic engineers of the time. Recently, a friend sent me a link to an old USGS report titled Water – Supply Problems in Southwest Florida that was dated 1968. The report showed some concern because four of the counties in Southwest Florida, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, and Lee, were among the 15 counties in Florida with the most rapid population increase for period 1960-64. In fact, the report claimed that the population of Southwest Florida had increased by 300 percent in the 15 years prior to the report being written. I am pretty sure part of that expansion had to do with Redfish Point being turned into Cape Coral in 1958, and expanding from uninhabited to having a population of 2,850 by 1963.
Where Does Southwest Florida Drinking Water Come From?
In 1968, the USGS claimed that most of Southwest Florida’s good quality water came from lakes, ponds, streams and canals, and some coming from ground water in shallow artesian aquifers. The Floridian Aquifer, they claimed, contained water of poor quality that is highly mineralized with high concentrations of Chloride with averages of about 1,000 ppm (parts per million). The report also concludes that salt water intrusion into the water supply is of great concern.
Today, cities like Cape Coral claim to get their water from places like the deep Lower Hawthorn Aquifer that isn’t mentioned in the 1968 report. Cape Coral claims this water does have Chloride in it, but is reduced by a reverse osmosis treatment process that reduces the concentration to 0.62 ppm.
Crystal Clear Water offers similar reverse osmosis systems for your house that range in size from whole house systems to under the sink systems. These reverse osmosis systems are great if your home gets its water from a well. You will get the same filtration technology that the city water supply uses without your water traveling through miles of pipes that have probably been around since before this 1968 report was written. Of course, if you are on city water, and are worried about those old pipes… we can install one for you as well.
The 1968 report is very proud of a recently completed facility in Charlotte County that pumps water from Shell Creek to supply drinking water to Punta Gorda and another facility in Ft Myers that pumps water from the Caloosahatchee to refill the existing well fields in the area.
Currently, Ft Myers is operating a water treatment plant that meets a demand of 6.5 million gallons of water per day. This plant gets source water from the Floridian Aquifer that was claimed to have poor quality water in 1968. However, the Ft Myers water treatment plant also uses a reverse osmosis filtration system.
Doing a bit of research, I couldn’t find any information on the facility mentioned in 1968, but I wonder if it is gone, or if it is still “recharging the existing well field”.
The Punta Gorda Water Treatment Division is apparently still using the Shell Creek facility to supply water to Punta Gorda. Of course with the increased industrialization, population, and subsequent pollution, and agricultural runoff polluting Shell Creek one would have to put some serious thought into getting an at home filtration system if they lived in Punta Gorda. Especially, as the report notes, that the reduction of rain water in the winter months tend to lower the quality of the surface water in places like Shell Creek (and I am sure the population boom do to the influx of snowbirds doesn’t help either).
Dealing with quality problems with the Southwest Florida water supply is something we have been dealing with since people first settled the shores of the Gulf Coast, and, as populations continue to increase, it is something we will always continue to deal with. Between problems with our natural water supply, and pollutants that contaminate our water as it travels through antiquated pipes to get to our homes, the best course of action will always be to have a good water filtration system as close to where you drink the water from as possible. For that reason, Crystal Clear Water is here to help you. Give us a call, and enjoy a clean, refreshing glass of water.