There’s a plan to keep the water flowing not down a river, but across a river. Progress is happening on an idea to move reclaimed water from Fort Myers to Cape Coral.
Caloosahatchee Connect construction will soon start on that pipeline to move water across the Caloosahatchee to be used for irrigation and fire protection.
The goal is to reduce withdrawals from freshwater canals and maintain water levels during the dry season.
The demand for water has been such a headache in Cape Coral that one woman said she sold her home because of it.
Last spring almost ran Becky Bushey dry.
“We were only without water a couple of days, but after that, we certainly watched every ounce of water that we used,” Bushey explained, “Showers were, you know, limited. Washing was limited, that type of thing. ”
After replacing the pump and digging her well deeper, Bushey decided to sell her home. “We moved out of the Cape about a year ago. We were desperate to do something. ”
That’s why she’s relieved to hear about the Caloosahatchee connect project.
the project will also reduce nutrient-laden recycled water from being discharged into the Caloosahatchee by the city of Fort Myers.
Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani sees the possible pros and cons of the project. “This particular project, I think, has some advantages. But there are still some questions out there. Where do these nutrient pollutants actually end up? So if you’re going to put it on the landscape in Cape Coral for irrigation, it’s not unreasonable to think that some of that’s going to come back and get into the surface water systems. ”
For Bushey, she’s thankful her neighbors’ water concern is being heard. “That’s wonderful. Perhaps if the water issue gets resolved someday, we’ll move back.”
Some of you may be wondering about the current water pressure and restrictions in place in Fort Myers and how the city can sell water to another municipality.
Fort Myers says it plans to have the problems addressed and resolved long before this new system would go online.
The City of Fort Myers invites the public to attend a pre-construction public information meeting on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the First Assembly of God Church, Family Life Center, 4701 Summerlin Road, Fort Myers.
The meeting will be held in an “open house” format (attend anytime) from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Attendees will learn about the purpose, need and benefits of the project and how the contractor plans to build the project along the pipeline route.
Information about the new water reclamation facility will also be available. The route of the reclaimed water main will be on display for the public to view. City staff and the project team will be available for the public to speak with one-on-one. All presentation materials will be available for viewing on the project website, CaloosahatcheeConnect.com, after the public meeting for those who can’t attend.