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Kiwanis Club members use reverse osmosis, miss singing ‘Happy Birthday’

By Staff | Oct 1, 2009

Our speaker this week was Rusty Isler, the general manager from the Island Water Association. It was almost unconscionable that Dave Williams could pick an LSU graduate to speak to us the week before the Gators take on the Tigers next week, but fortunately Doug Congress didn’t show up to the meeting again – he is only who gets upset with stuff like that. Furthermore, we were just thankful to have Dave Williams, our speaker chair this month, remember to show up himself.

Isler educated us on the process of how we get our water on the island. Some of you may take it for granted that when you turn on your faucet, drinking water comes out. But did you know that we used to get all of our water from a 10-inch pipe coming from Pine Island back in the 1960s?

The IWA, which started in 1965, now has 5000 users – or “members” – and we currently use 1.2 billion gallons per year. In 1980, IWA opened its reverse osmosis plant. There are 14 production wells one injection well throughout Sanibel and there are 120 miles of pipe on the island. Their annual budget is $6,500,000, which is directed by a local board comprised of five members, including two Kiwanians: Bob Wigley and Bob Lindman.

There are many challenges to providing water to an island. The economy has affected the utility companies, and the unreliable rainfall makes it difficult to count on enough storage in the two 5,000,000 gallon tanks.

On a good note, Isler was happy to announce that there had not been an increase in our usage rate for 17 consecutive years. Unfortunately, the increase came this year when people are cutting back. For more information, go to www.islandwater.com

Don Feiner showed up to the meeting with a bandage on his hand, which he claims was due to a recent surgery. Rumor has it that he just keeps these various bandages at his house because they make good ice breakers when he is forced to sit at a new table for Kiwanis’ breakfast meeting. Barry Gordon was strutting his stuff to show off his new hairdo. Apparently he found a new hair stylist who hasn’t heard all of his stories. It was nice to see Bob Harvot back at our meetings and doing well. Dick Muench, Bill Traum and Tom Louwers announced they had a good time vacationing together in Bermuda. They were shocked when the saw the prices for everything… including the food. Apparently the lobsters were going for $62 per pound. Let’s just say our friends ate a lot of hamburgers!

Finally, we were prepared to sing “Happy Birthday” to Armand Ball, but he snuck out early to avoid the harmony. It is kind of tough early in the morning.

Please consider joining the Kiwanians every Tuesday morning at 7:30 at The Dunes. You just can’t imagine the fun we have!