Cape Coral, Fort Myers work together to manage water levels through pipeline program

A pipeline project is about two cities working together to manage water levels in Southwest Florida.

The City of Cape Coral accepted a $1.5 million grant to fund the Caloosahatchee Connect pipeline project alongside the City of Fort Myers.

We looked at how it’s going to change our water and what neighbors want to see happen.

Brian Sheehan’s Cape Coral canal was out of shape two years ago. His boat was stuck in the mud and the canal was so low that he could walk through it.

“I’d say, from the seawall out, I’d be able to walk from the boat without getting my feet wet, a good 20 feet,” Sheehan said.

To this day, Sheehan said he keeps his boat out of the water.

“I can’t trust that I’ll get up the next morning, and the thing, is it going to be sitting on the ground?” Sheehan said. “It’s that rapid that it happens.”

He’s hoping Caloosahatchee Connect will keep this from happening again.

Cape Coral has more than $20 million ready to spend on the pipeline, which will allow excess water from Fort Myers to go to Cape Coral’s Everest Water Reclamation Facility.

The benefits help with water irrigation and fire protection and keep canals like Sheehan’s filled during the dry season.

“These canals are really important for the community,” Sheehan said. “I think that’s part of the reason why Cape Coral is building up so beautifully and so fast.”

The pipeline will allow the reclamation facility to receive up to 12 million gallons of reclaimed water a day. The average swimming pool uses about 25,000 gallons, so that’s enough water to fill almost 500 swimming pools.

Kaye Molnar with Caloosahatchee Connect calls it a win-win situation.

“This is a good way to get that discharge out of the Caloosahatchee and put it to good use with a municipality like Cape Coral,” she said.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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