Saturday, April 30, 2011
ABOUT THE WATER TANK.....
Thanks to explanations by Dave Israel and Dom Guarnagia, I’ve become a lot clearer about how our lakes and canals and irrigation systems work. We get RECLAIMED (partially purified, not potable) water from that water tower at a bargain rate to augment what is in our lakes. We get it at a bargain rate for us because it costs the Palm Beach Water Utilities Department (PBCWUD) more to produce the water than what they sell it to us for. Our contract with them allows them to sell it to us up to a certain amount, but they don’t have to sell us any. And yet I read recently that they have been selling us BEYOND what the contract calls for. This is very nice, but why are they so generous, I wondered.
I may have gotten my answer this morning in talking with a man who works for the PBCWU at breakfast. He said, first of all, that the law requires them to fill the water tank. It is a part of the reserves of water the PBCWUD has. IT CANNOT JUST SIT THERE, HOWEVER. It must be discharged either to a facility that can use it (such as Century Village) or discharged back into the aquifer underground. It costs the PBCWUD more to discharge it back into the aquifer than it does to sell it to us.
The man told me more than this, and it was fascinating. Some it I remember and some of it I don’t. I think I’ve got the above right, but Dave or Dom (or anyone else knowledgeable about this) can correct me if I’m wrong. The man made the same point that Dave and Dom have made repeatedly and which doesn’t seem to be understood in the Village by some: WATER DISCHARGED INTO OUR LAKES WILL ONLY AFFECT THE WATER LEVEL SLIGHTLY, AND A GOOD DEAL OF IT WILL BE LOST TO US BECAUSE WATER IN THE LAKES PERCOLATES DOWNWARD INTO THE AQUIFER, WHERE IT GETS SHARED WITH NEARBY DEVELOPMENTS THAT MAY NOT BE PAYING ANYTHING FOR SUCH EXTRA WATER.
The PBCWUD (and other water companies) are required by law to save reclaimed water, my friend said. They save it in tanks, but sometimes also save it by “injecting” it into the SALT WATER AQUIFER, which is located much nearer the land surface than is the pure water aquifer. Somehow this reclaimed water, when injected into the salt water aquifer, stays pretty much (though not 100%) intact, so it can be pumped back out when needed and be in pretty good shape.
It’s pretty amazing what’s going all around and under us, isn’t it?