Fort Myers buying water from Lee County to help alleviate water pressure issues

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Residents of Fort Myers’ Ward 6 continue to deal with low water pressure in their homes. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Lee County is selling water to the City of Fort Myers to help with water pressure issues impacting people in several communities.

The people in charge of the city’s water and public works think in five months, they will have a much better handle on the problem and they hope they won’t need to keep buying water from Lee County, but right now, there isn’t enough water coming through the pipes.

The Fort Myers Director of Public Works Richard Moulton said, “the city had some wells that weren’t operating well. We have to kind of rehabilitate them. So our supply-side had a dip in how much water we are making. And we had to reduce the distribution pressure.”

Moulton said that reduction in water pressure hit people living on the eastern side of the city hardest.

The quickest solution; buy water from Lee County.

The city’s agreed to pay nearly $173,000 a month for 45 million gallons of water.

The deal will provide people with the water they need at the pressure they like and buys the city time to solve its water supply issues.

Moulton said, “it allows us to rest the wellfield to rehabilitate those wells that are being worked on.”

Rehabilitating those wells means allowing the water to fill up again, but that’s only part of the solution.

The city is also building new wells. One well will come online in late March or early April, with a second good to go in July.

“We’re building a total of seven new wells over the next 12 to 18 months. We currently have 13 wells operating,” Moulton said.

Each well will cost around $3.5 million dollars, but it is clear the city’s gotta spend the money to keep up with growth and development.

Moulton said, “So we’re going to be ahead of the curve in terms of our supply. And that will make a big difference to what we can provide.”

The city says it’s going to need four days to switch over to county water in the area impacted.

They don’t use the same chemicals to treat the drinking water, so they are flushing out the pipes in preparation which could lead to some brownish or discolored water.

They don’t want you to worry and recommend you just turn the water on for a couple of minutes and it should clear up.

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