SFWMD explores wells to prevent discharges

SFWMD explores wells to prevent discharges

One of the key takeaways after Hurricane Irma was even if a reservoir was built South of Lake Okeechobee, the storm would still have caused harmful discharges East and West into the estuaries.

That's why water managers are exploring other solutions to protect the Indian River Lagoon and St. Lucie River.

The South Florida Water Management District plans to build two "test" deep injection wells North of Lake Okeechobee, storing water beneath the ground.

"They are another tool," said Randy Smith with the district.

If the district goes ahead with the project, 50 wells would be built costing more than $300 million.

"Capable of holding 15 million gallons per day and you've got a substantial amount of water," Smith said.

Environmentalists say this would waste water, but Randy says they would only be used in emergency situations.

"At the point where the Corps is going to have to make discharges," he said.

The two test wells would be a feasibility study. They would be built within the next year.

Scripps Only Content 2018