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Runoff from construction sites enter Caloosahatchee River

Construction runoff has been getting into the Caloosahatchee River recently and residents and professionals alike have noticed murky patches.

John Cassani, with the Calusa Waterkeeper, says, “Well, this is a very significant construction site sediment runoff.”

Cassani says he found out about it from a downtown Fort Myers resident and he then reported it to authorities. “One of the most important parameters that the agencies regulate is what we call ‘Total Suspended Solids’,” he said.

A spokesperson for the City of Fort Myers said in a statement, “Yesterday’s rain event and the resulting discharges to the Caloosahatchee were the result of conditions at three separate sites.” Those three sites are: City Walk and Silver Hills construction sits as well as Pointe Royale Condominiums.

At the City Walk site, the apparent problem is that rainwater and sediment overflowed but cleanup is now underway. The Silver Hills site experienced turbid discharge since rainwater entered a damaged pipe. As far as Point Royale is concerned, the sediment flowing into the river was the result of a water main break. The break has since been repaired.

Cassani says the sediments can move around in the water and damage plants and fish. “Actually, it’s the worst I’ve ever seen, to be honest with you,” he said.

The Department of Environmental Protection has an open and ongoing investigation.

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
Writer:Drew Hill
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