New Lee County water treatment plant open, supplies clean water

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Photo by WINK News.

Making sure the water you drink is clean, a facility almost a decade in the making will pump water to faucets in Lee County. WINK News explored the upgrades this local plant is using to make sure the water residents use at home is safe.

The Green Meadows Water Treatment Plant in Lee County became operational Monday and will soon send water to 60,000 homes.

Clean drinking water is a top concern for Fitzgerald.

Cutting edge technology inside the new water treatment plant in Lee County is helping keep drinking water safe. The water won’t taste any different, and it won’t cost residents of Lee County more money. The different forms of treatment being used at the new Green Meadows plant are using less chemicals and are almost more cost-efficient for the facility.

Project Manager Hank Barroso was one of those who cut the ribbon on the $75 million facility on Monday.

“It increases our capacity from 9 million gallons to 14 million,” Barroso said.

Doug Meurer, Lee County’s assistant manager, was at the plant’s grand opening. Part of Meuer’s position is to oversee the utility and solid waste facilities in the county.

“This plant actually has three different sources of water,” Meurer said. “Three different groundwater sources, so it has three different treatment methods.”

One of those methods is reverse osmosis, which works by filtering out minerals and salt from the water.

The water gets filtered into vessels and then undergoes a more intricate filtration process in the containers. From there, water is sent to a tower, where the water is disinfected. After that, it’s safe to drink.

“The process itself, it cleans the minerals and salt out of the water,” Barroso said. “But it actually can also clean bacteria and viruses out of water.”

Officials said the main reason for the new plant is to keep up with Southwest Florida’s growing population.

The water treatment facility is located on Airport Haul Road, just north of Alico Road.

The plant is also creating new jobs in the area. During construction of the facility, 300 people from Southwest Florida worked onsite.

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