The East County Water Control District has seen an active start to wet season with an average of 18.34 inches of rain throughout the district from May 1, 2013 to present.
Rainfall for Lehigh Acres is higher than the start of last year's wet season which rated an average of 7.34 inches.
According to ECWCD district manager, David E. Lindsay, a healthy wet season provides the necessary recharge to local aquifers and offsets the depletion experienced during dry season.
Florida's wet season typically runs from mid-June through mid-October and accounts for more than two-thirds of South Florida's rainfall total during an average year.
"The spring has been unusually wet this year," Lindsay said. "We have experienced at least one good rainfall a week and as a result ECWCD has transitioned into our rain season duties earlier than usual."
ECWCD staff maintains and manages Lehigh Acres canals, waterways and rights-of-ways to help provide drainage prevent flooding and provide recharge to aquifers. Through the vast 70,000-acre plus district, ECWCD staff is constantly monitoring water levels to determine the best way to move water through its system.
"It has been a number of years since we have seen a normal wet season where there are consistent showers each afternoon," said William Walker, ECWCD water resource manager.
ECWCD water level monitoring technicians are able to remotely access rain data and control structures using computer telemetry and radio based telemetry. Telemetry is the science and technology of automatic measurement and transmission of data by wire, radio, or other means from remote sources.
According to Lindsay, ECWCD has an elevated its level of service with advanced technology on water control structures built in the last ten years. These structures have automated gates which can be remotely opened and shut providing the ability to release and/or store water quickly.
"It is important for residents to understand that even though we are off to a healthy rain season, water conservation is still crucial," said Lindsay.
The increased rainfall experienced during rainy season is often times enough to meet the maintenance needs of most lawns and landscapes. Residents are encouraged to reset irrigation timers for shorter watering times, fewer days during the rainy season.
Although South Florida Water Management District currently does not have water shortage restrictions in place for its 16-county area, residents should be following the Year-Round Landscape Irrigation Rule.
For residents in unincorporated Lee County the following irrigation rule is as follows:
- If your home address end with an odd number (1,3,5,7,9) you may water Wednesdays and/or Saturdays from midnight to 9a.m. and/or 5 p.m. until midnight.
- If your home address end with an even number (0,2,4,6,8) or no address you may water Thursday and/or Sundays from midnight to 9a.m. and/or 5 p.m. until midnight.
Additional information on water restrictions for Lee County can be found online at www.leegov.com/gov/dept/Utilities/Pages/WaterRestrictions.aspx.