DEP: city did not discharge wastewater into river
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has notified the city of Cape Coral that it agrees with the city’s assertion that no treated wastewater was discharged from Everest Water Reclamation Facility into the Caloosahatchee River in June. An anonymous complaint alleged that 3.4 million gallons of treated wastewater was discharged from the plant and into the river on 13 separate days with the knowledge of plant operators.
A review of the situation found that a computer malfunction was responsible for erroneous readings on the discharge flow meter.
“We store and use all of our reclaimed water, so the city has not needed to discharge treated wastewater into the river for two years,” said City Manager Gary King. “Because of this, we were confident there would be a logical explanation for a sudden flow reading indicating that water had entered the river. Now that we know the problem, we can address the computer issues that caused the inaccurate readings.”
The city has closed and locked a manual valve located downstream of the motorized discharge flow meter controlled by the automated computer system. The valve will remain closed, per policy, preventing any accidental discharge into the river.
In addition, the city staff has placed a high priority on evaluating and troubleshooting the current computer system to address any problems.