Cape Coral councilman holds meeting to educate city on irrigation efficiency after issues

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
irrigation meeting
Credit: WINK News

The lack of rain has left some in Cape Coral without water for weeks. City council is looking for ways to solve the problem and one idea they have is irrigation.

On Saturday morning, Cape Coral City Councilman Tom Hayden held a town hall in hopes that he could educate people about irrigation efficiency. He wants to make sure the city does the right thing.

Now that it’s dry season, we aren’t seeing a ton of rain, which means water needs to be pumped to get the job done.

Jeff Pearson is the utilities director for the City of Cape Coral. “We saw a peak flow of 47 million in one day. And so we knew when we saw that it was 3 million higher than we have ever seen before.”

The problem stems from the existence of nonefficient systems.

The Cape Coral City Council tabled an ordinance on irrigation efficiency. Hayden said that things need to be done right.

“We want to make sure it works. We want to make sure it doesn’t die. We want to make sure that it moves forward so we have something that works for the city,” Hayden said.

To achieve this, Hayden hosted the town hall with the goal of educating the public about the basics of irrigation efficiency. The main benefit is that irrigation could cut water use by anywhere from 30% to 50%.

Smart control systems programmed to determine the water demand based on timing can make that a possibility.

“We save water. We keep water in the canals for when we really need it in March, April and May,” said Scott King, Florida Irrigation Society board member.

These regulation changes would mainly impact newly constructed buildings and irrigation systems.

“Having these smart control systems, they don’t have to abide by the two-day-a-week watering because your system will take care of that and you’re not going to face possible fines or violations,” Hayden said.

He said the council won’t see the draft ordinance until the end of the year at the earliest.

The new systems would cost around $2,000 to $4,000. He says there could be an inclusion in the ordinance where the cost might not be as much but allows the system to be installed.

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