Lehigh Acres neighbors like the canal drainage but hate the trash left behind

Reporter: Nicole Gabe
Published: Updated:

Three hundred and eleven miles is the length of canals the City of Lehigh Acres needs to dredge. The ongoing work may be necessary to allow the water to run freely and to maintain proper drainage.

“The operator removes the selt and whatever vegetation is whatever present and they put it on the side and we let it dry out for maybe about a month,” said David Lindsey, district manager of Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District. “Then, we come back and lay it into the ground.”

While neighbors understand that, what they hate is all the trash left behind.

“Every time the water comes down, you can see the complete bucket out,” said Barbra Fiallo, “and there’s like plastic bags, water bottles that are empty.”

Crews said they find everything from trampolines to car parts. Lehigh told us they never stop dredging its canals. Once they finish one canal, they move on to the next one as the process continually repeats.

“They make a few hundred yards a day of progress throughout the canal system,” Lindsey said.

“It’s better for the fish, wildlife, and the neighborhood will look cleaner,” Fiallo said. “The neighborhood looks ugly.”

If neighbors have a problem with the work being done, they can call Lehigh’s municipal services.

“Even if we get a complaint and a canal was cleaned recently,” Lindsey said, “we’ll go out and make sure it has been cleaned.”

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