Water-Related News

City of Fort Myers dumped toxic sludge in Dunbar

Imagine you bought a home in a residential Fort Myers neighborhood overlooking a block of green space – City View Park has a nice ring to it, right?

Then imagine, instead of furnishing the landscape with royal palms, the city buries waste from its water treatment plant there. Pits of sludge containing toxic arsenic. And it stays there for years.

In 1962 the city advertised in The News-Press its intent to buy vacant lots for "municipal purposes" in the area bounded by Henderson and Midway Avenues and Jeffcott and South Streets; a historically African-American neighborhood of Dunbar.

The municipal purpose: to dump an estimated 25,000 cubic yards of sludge in pits dug deeper than the water table.