East County Water Control District has received a $1.224 million grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for the construction of the Aquifer Benefit and Storage for Orange River Basin, or ABSORB, in Lehigh Acres.
The grant was awarded under the TMDL Water Quality Restoration Program.
ECWCD preserves and protects water resources in Lehigh and Hendry County through drainage, conservation, mitigation, navigational and water management practices within 70,000 acres.
The grant for Southwest Weirs Project provides for ECWCD to construct 27 weirs - a low wall or dam built across a canal to raise water levels. The water levels will be higher in canals between Gunnery Road and Sunshine Blvd. and between State Road 82 and Lee Blvd., following construction.
The project will result in approximately 1,000 acre-feet of storage as well as sediment and nutrient reduction for the watershed runoff to the Orange River, Caloosahatchee ultimately the Gulf coastal waters.
"The support ECWCD has received from DEP will enable us to improve our services to local residents by constructing much needed infrastructure," Michael Bonacolta, ECWCD district chairman, said.
"Through the Southwest Weirs Project, the district will be able to recharge local basins, help to remove nitrogen discharge and will create new canal and ground storage," said David E. Lindsay, district manager.
"This project will have positive effects on the Caloosahatchee River, as it will provide additional water quality treatment for stormwater runoff, flood attenuation and increase groundwater recharge, while reducing stormwater discharges by 1,000 acre-foot per year to the Caloosahatchee River,"?he said.