There have recently been several excellent articles and letters in our local newspaper discussing residential development in Charlotte County, FL. These thoughtful comments have often mentioned our surfeit of saltwater and prospects for desalination.
With more homes for sale In Charlotte County, Florida and more being built, concern for a reliable water source is reasonable. Charlotte County currently operates two reverse osmosis plants. One serves homes in Rotonda and the second serves homes in Burnt Store. There is a need for additional future capacity for new homes in Port Charlotte as well as construction of new homes in Punta Gorda.
Desal plants require a great deal of power to operate. A plant under construction on Tampa Bay is being built adjacent to a coal-fired power plant to take advantage of its cooling water and discharge capacity. In Charlotte Harbor, we have no such convenient power plant. We must either purchase the power at a high price or think of another alternative.
One possibility would be to “think small.” If Charlotte County were to build wind driven plants we would use renewable energy to operate pumps to draw water from the harbor (or other locations) and pump it through the RO filters. Windmills scattered about Cape Haze, Charlotte Harbor and along the Peace and Myakka Rivers could pump water to existing nearby water treatment facilities.
According to the Texas Water Development Board, a desalination plant can cost between $60,000,000 and $100,000,000. The Tampa Bay Seawater Desalination Plant has seen cost overruns and is going to end up costing about $150,000,000. Of course, Charlotte Harbor area homes will not need such an expensive facility, but price will definitely be a factor. Keeping operational costs at a reasonable level will make a facility in our area viable.
James B. Mulligan, Licensed Real Estate Broker
849 Calvert Ave
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
Jim Mulligan (941) 456-3034
Andy Leonard (941) 662-0033
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