City of Cape Coral to push irrigation after lack of rain, dry wells

Published: April 16, 2021 5:00 PM EDT
Updated: April 16, 2021 5:24 PM EDT

Wells across Cape Coral are drying up due to the lack of rain in the past few weeks. But the City of Cape Coral does have a plan for those who have been without water for weeks.

The mayor and city council began debating a new ordinance centered on irrigation. However, nothing has been finalized yet.

Even if they did decide to do it, that wouldn’t bring immediate relief to those homeowners with private wells that are drying up during dry season.

Dry season has been nothing but a headache for Deborah Milnor and her sister Becky Bushey who both live in Cape Coral.

“I’m embarrassed to say that it’s been 16 days since I last washed my hair and thank goodness we have a swimming pool because that’s our bathtub,” said Milnor.

These sisters say both of their wells have run dry. Milnor has been without water for three weeks and counting. Bushey was finally able to get a new pump for her well but worries the water won’t last.

“We have a huge fear of running out of water and having to actually have the expense of putting in a new well this time,” Bushey said.

Both sisters point to new construction and sprinkler systems as the cause.

“When you see other people in the neighborhood watering every Thursday and Sunday for 2 to 2 1/2 hours and we’re over there not bathing it’s pretty difficult to take,” Milnor said.

The City of Cape Coral is looking for ways to solve problems like this. City council started to talk about updating an irrigation ordinance. It would require a permit for all new homes and demand for repairs on exiting irrigation systems greater than $1,000 be completed.

This doesn’t sit well with Milnor. “When you don’t have water you don’t realize what a hardship it is to not have water. It’s one thing to conserve but when you cannot turn on the tap and I have a drop of water come out of it it’s difficult,” Milnor said.

Cape Coral City Councilman Tom Hayden will be hosting a town hall meeting on Saturday, April 17 at 10:30 a.m. at the Cape Coral Public Works building.