Fort Myers utilities director addresses water quality concerns after water main break

Reporter: Samantha Johns Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

The City of Fort Myers remains under a boil water notice after a water main break forced it to be implemented on Saturday.

Since Saturday night, businesses have had to limit their offerings due to the water main break. Crews have since fixed the leak, but the boil water notice is still in effect.

It’s impacting Ileana Betancourt’s ability to serve her customers.

“We have to boil every time for the coffee pot, you have to boil the water. Every time you have to do an espresso, the same thing. The water from the fridge, the ice, I can’t use that. So it’s like we’ve had to go and buy ice to not use the ice from the fridge,” said Betancourt.

She isn’t too happy about it. The Miami native moved to Fort Myers in August but has already taken notice of the city’s water issues.

Betancourt said she’s worried it could cause some health concerns in the future.

“I want to be somewhere where I feel that the water I’m drinking and bathing in is safe. And for my child, too,” Betancourt said.

Richard Moulton is the utilities director for the City of Fort Myers. He said while the infrastructure dates back to the late 1800s, neighbors shouldn’t worry.

“We’re building, expanding our water plant, we are building the wells, we are making sure we are best prepared for what the future holds in terms of our utility assets,” said Moulton.

All of those plans are part of the city’s capital improvement budget. It’s expected to cost them almost $420 million over the next five years.

Despite the hefty price tag, Moulton believes it’s worth it.

“It is throughout the city, especially in our older neighborhoods, an aggressive attempt to make sure we replace some of those lines,” Moulton said.

The city expects to get the results back from water quality testing Monday night or Tuesday. Those results will let them know if it is safe to lift the boil water notice.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.