June 28, 2019

SFWMD Partners with State,  Local Agencies to Evaluate Stormwater Treatment for the C-43 Storage Reservoir
At the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis, the District is working to expedite this study as well as two dozen priority Everglades restoration projects.

SFWMD, in partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Lee County and the city of Sanibel, is studying the most feasible and cost effective methods to reduce discharge of nutrients to the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary.  

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.  -  The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has joined with the Florida Department of Environmental (DEP) protection and several local governments to form a working group to address a crucial component of restoring America's Everglades. 

The District has also initiated the C-43 Water Quality Study. The study will evaluate the most technically-feasible and cost-effective methods to reduce the discharge of harmful nutrients from the Caloosahatchee (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir, which is currently under construction. Reducing the discharge of nutrients will improve the quality of water released from that reservoir when it is completed.

The water quality study is one of two dozen Everglades restoration projects that Gov. Ron DeSantis made a key priority for SFWMD to advance and complete in his Achieving More Now for Florida's Environment Executive Order

"This is yet another major step taken in a short period of time since Gov. DeSantis set a bold direction to restore the Everglades now," said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Chauncey Goss.  "This study will help identify the way forward and will dramatically improve the quality of the water in the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary. As a long-time resident of Southwest Florida, I am encouraged that the District and our partners are working together with a sense of urgency."

The study will evaluate alternatives to reduce discharge of nutrients from the C-43 Reservoir. Alternatives will be evaluated using a cost-benefit analysis and trade-off analysis. The study will examine how cost-effective, available, technically feasible, conventional and innovative biological, chemical and physical treatment technologies for water quality improvement may be applied to either inflow, outflow, and/or in-reservoir water to reduce nutrient discharge. 

In addition to DEP, local partners in the working group include the city of Sanibel and Lee County. 

"Any water that is discharged to the Caloosahatchee River should be clean and not add to the pollution that fuels harmful algae blooms," said Brian Hamman, Lee County Commissioner. "The C-43 reservoir is key to solving our water issues during the dry winter months and storing some excess flows from Lake Okeechobee during the wet summer months. We're grateful that SFWMD is taking steps to protect our water quality as this new water management tool is constructed."

"Water quality is fundamentally linked to the health and vitality of our local communities," said James Evans, Director of Natural Resources for the city of Sanibel. "This project is a critical step towards restoring the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary. We thank Gov. DeSantis for his leadership and commitment to restoring America's Everglades and our coastal estuaries."

To learn more about the water quality study and all the key priority environmental restoration projects SFWMD is advancing, click HERE.

For more updates on SFWMD's work:
Media Contact: 
Randy Smith |   rrsmith@sfwmd.gov    |  Office: (561)-682-6197 | Cell: 561-389-3386
The South Florida Water Management District is a regional governmental agency that manages the water resources in the southern part of the state. It is the oldest and largest of the state's five water management districts. Our mission is to  safeguard and restore South Florida's water resources and ecosystems, protect our communities from flooding, and meet the region's water needs while connecting with the public and stakeholders.

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