Cape council approves new water source

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. An extra 17 million gallons of water every day will now flow into the city’s parched freshwater canals.

City Council on Monday approved a $140,000 measure to pump water from a mining pit in Charlotte County into the canals, which residents use to water their lawns and the city uses to service fire hydrants.

The move will come at an additional cost of 10 cents per 1,000 gallons, which works out to $1,700 per day.

The city has eyed the mining pit as a potential solution for severe drought conditions that have forced an unprecedented once-weekly lawn-watering restriction. It spent $186,657 last month to study the feasibility of the water source.

The mining pit won’t supply drinking water, which the city gets from a different source. The city estimates it has enough drinking water to last the next 15 to 20 years.

The pit isn’t bringing an immediate end to the watering restriction, either. But, the city sees it as a step forward.

“The immediate benefit right now is that we are moving water into the Cape,” city public works civil engineer Jody Sorrells said. “So within a few weeks here we will have canal basins coming up.”

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