Water-Related News

Lake O water discharges to resume on Friday, July 13th

Southwest Florida got some good news and some bad on the water quality front this week.

The good? In the wake of blue-green algal blooms in the Caloosahatchee, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency and the Army Corps of Engineers has bumped up its endorsement of a reservoir project intended to mitigate the discharges of water from Lake Okeechobee into the river.

The bad? After a few days of reprieve, the nutrient-laden water in Lake Okeechobee will once again flow east and west starting today.

"We acknowledge the multiple challenges in this system including this summer's extensive algal blooms," Colonel Jason Kirk, the Jacksonville District Army Corps Commander, said in a release issued Thursday.

The reason the discharges will resume is the threat to the 37,000 people who live around the lake, Kirk said, as well as damage to homes and businesses that could occur if the Herbert Hoover Dike is breached.