Published: Aug 21, 2012 6:53 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Cape Coral is in hot water, over a water treatment facility. The city could spend nearly one million dollars to improve the plant or face thousands of dollars in fines each day.

Instead of pumping water out of the ground, Cape Coral's Class 1 injection well pumps water more than 3,000 feet into the earth.

The well is connected to the Southwest Reverse Osmosis Plant, which cleans water for about 120,000 Cape Coral residents. Once the water is cleaned, the well gets rid of the leftover nutrients.

"Any of our excess is very salty water," explained Chief Operator Bob Woods.

If that well malfunctions or needs to be tested for a long period of time, the Department of Environmental Protection says the city will need another way to get rid of the waste.


That's where your money comes in. It will cost about a million dollars to build back-up well.

At one point, the excess water was pumped into a Cape Coral lake. "It was actually discharged into the Marauder Canal in the Lake Finisterre system," said Woods.


But the DEP said the nutrients are harmful, and the pumping shouldn't be done, even as a backup.

Marcus Veiga lives on the lake, and supports spending money for a new well. "Nobody likes to spend, waste taxpayers money but if it's for our own good? Whatever has to be done," he said.

David Reparsky disagrees. "The economy's not that good as it is so why take money out of people's pockets?" he said.

If the city doesn't work with the DEP it would face fines up $10,000 a day. The DEP wants the well finished in 5 years.