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Cape Coral begins pumping water from Southwest Aggregates Reservoir to freshwater canal system

By Staff | Apr 28, 2017

The City of Cape Coral has launched the test run to pump water from the reservoir property at Southwest Aggregates in Punta Gorda into the freshwater canal system in Cape Coral.

The city will pump 8.5 MGD for the next 48 hours and, if the initial test run is successful, Cape Coral will be permitted to pump up to 17 MGD from the reservoir by Sunday. The current test run is scheduled for 90 days.

“This reservoir project could provide the City of Cape Coral with another freshwater source to supplement the irrigation supply for our community,” said City Manager John Szerlag in a prepared statement. “We are extremely pleased with how the various agencies came together to secure the necessary permits required to move this project forward in such a short timeframe.”

The city worked with the South Florida Water Management District, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and Florida Department of Transportation to bring the project online. The city also negotiated an agreement with the owners of Southwest Aggregates, and the agreement is on the Council agenda for approval on Monday, May 1. The agreement includes reimbursement to the owner for the costs of the pumping equipment being used in the testing phase, $140,000.

“The reservoir will not solve our drought conditions overnight, and one-day watering restrictions will need to remain in place until we see the levels in the freshwater canal system trending in a positive direction,” said Szerlag. “When we are confident the operation of our fire hydrants is no longer compromised by declining levels in the freshwater canal system, we can rescind the Stage I Water Shortage declaration and return to two-day watering.”

The water from the reservoir property is being pumped into drainage ditches on the east and west sides of U.S. 41. The water will flow south into the Gator Slough Canal, which feeds the city’s freshwater canal system in the north Cape. If the reservoir project presents a viable long-term solution, the city will move forward with developing a plan that outlines the steps and costs to establish the reservoir as a permanent source to supplement its freshwater system in Cape Coral, officials said.

Source: City of Cape Coral