Just over forty years ago, something happened on Don Pedro/Knight/Palm Island that would change the islands forever.
In June 1982, without any warning, a `No Name Storm` swept over the islands early one morning. Not quite a hurricane, but with a storm surge that over-topped South Gulf Boulevard with 24` of salt water. Most of the shallow fresh water wells on the island now had salt water intrusion.
Colony Don Pedro was under construction and had 12,000 gallons of cistern storage, but with salt water wells, living on the island wasn`t very pleasant.
So, off to Tallahassee to see the Governor about running a water line under the Intracoastal. The answer was a definite `NO` at the time.
Next option: build a water barge. A 3,000 gallon tank was put on the barge with an outboard, to motor from the Colony on Bocilla Lagoon to the then Sea Gulf Marina (now Cape Haze), to the nearest fire hydrant; fill the tank, then motor back to the Colony--three or four times a day for over a year and a half!
Permitting and construction of Bocilla Utilities Reverse Osmosis Treatment Plant took two years, and in 1985 fresh water started flowing to the Colony. As the years went by, other sections of the islands requested water service. Bocilla expanded the production plant to eventually produce 120,000 gallons of fresh water each day, and this water flowed through eight miles of pipe to serve 400 homes and 62 fire hydrants on the islands.
Beginning in early 2012, and lasting two and a half years, permitting and construction of sub-aqueous lines under the Intracoastal Waterway and Buck Creek, plus another one and a half miles of pipe, were installed to connect Bocilla Utilities to Englewood Water District on the north side of Buck Creek.
Starting in July 2014, water from the Englewood Water District flowed full time, supplying all of the homes on Don Pedro/Knight/Palm Island. This change in the source of the water supply was the only thing that changed. Bocilla Utilities is your water utility, providing the same safe, dependable supply of fresh water that we have over the three decades.