Water-Related News

Cape Coral Council talks water quality, assessments

Water quality has been the hot topic in council chambers throughout the region, and Monday was no exception during the Cape Coral City Council's regular meeting at City Hall.

Now, it seems as if a new problem has arisen - of landscapers dumping their grass trimmings in the canals. Several residents brought up the problem during the public comment portion of the meeting.

"Can't we find a way for code enforcement to deal with landscapers?" asked Robert Weller. "People's lives revolve around the canals. Our homes are an investment. What is City Council prepared to do about it?"

Others said the problem isn't grass clippings.

"When people have tall grass, it's impossible for grass to not be in the canal. Some landscapers are doing it," said Dan Sheppard. "The real problem is Big Sugar."

Councilmember John Gunter said that he has noticed grass in canals and said there should be something done about it, even if it means hiring more code enforcement officers.

"I smelled something in the air the other day. There are things we can do locally. If we're going to have rules and regulations we need to make sure our residents are complying," Gunter said.

Rich Carr, code enforcement division manager, said it is very rare for them to find someone in the act of dumping clippings, though he saw someone raking piles of grass into a canal on social media.

"We found the location and it turned out to be a young kid. His mom told him to cut the grass. He didn't know the law and the parents didn't know he was doing it," Carr said.

Carr said the city puts out a lot of educational material about yard waste to commercial contractors in the city and that education is the key.

Gunter said the big problem is that not enough federal and state money has been applied to deal with water quality issues, and that municipalities have to come together as one voice.