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SFWMD Moves Forward on Deep Wells to Avoid Lake O Discharges

June 13, 2017 - 5:15pm

There's more than one way to skin a cat.

As plans push ahead to build a new reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, a unanimous South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board last week voted to begin assuming leadership of a research program to develop wells that can also prevent excess stormwater from harming the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and estuaries.

"Deep injection wells provide yet another option for reducing excess stormwater during high-water events, when no amount of storage could completely prevent harmful releases to the estuaries," said SFWMD Governing Board Vice Chairman Jim Moran. "The operation of deep injection wells would be specific to address only extreme types of situations. As future restoration projects come online, deep injection wells will receive the modifications necessary to increase their functionality in an ever-changing water management landscape."

At the board's direction, SFWMD engineers and scientists began working on a plan to work alongside the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to further explore the technology. According to a written statement the District issued Tuesday, a  report is scheduled for presentation to the board at its regular public meeting in September.

Deep injection wells have long been discussed as options to help protect the coastal estuaries. SFWMD (2007) and University of Florida (2015) studies highlighted the potential benefits.

"Deep injection wells could be part of a long-term solution to reduce damaging discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries, or they could provide an interim solution until additional storage, treatment and conveyance capacity can be constructed south of Lake Okeechobee," concluded a report by the UF Water Institute, commissioned by state Sen. Joe Negron.

These wells were originally included as part of the Lake Okeechobee Watershed Planning Project, a joint cost-sharing effort between the SFWMD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the coastal estuaries from Lake Okeechobee discharges.

Recently, the Corps summarily dismissed the well technology from the effort.

Members of SFWMD's volunteer citizen Water Resources Advisory Commission, which Moran chairs, urged the SFWMD Board to take action.

"Florida leads the nation in the number of deep injection wells successfully used for municipal wastewater disposal. It is very disappointing that the Corps doesn't recognize the utility of this tool," stated Moran.
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You must be Mark Perry's agent . He is the minion bought and paid for by the Everglades Foundation and a desperate fundraiser in Martin County. Really, LOU.... In high rainfall times the water would be wasted/flushed to the ocean through the estuaries (Calooshatchee and St. Lucie). Avoidance of that damaging outcome could be stopping the water before it even gets to Lake Okeechobee. That is if you are concerned about the estuaries. It seems like a logical approach but does little to suppress the political agenda posed by simple minded "paid to complain" activists that believe buying out the farmers in the Everglades will solve all of the worlds problems. Freshman stewards funded by a rich man wanting to repent for his development sins in Florida.

Deep wells are nothing more than a Political pawn to the Sugar Barons. This water would be lost. The Everglades and Florida Bay desperately need fresh water.

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