June 2020

Subject:  Caloosahatchee Connect | Two Cities Working Together for a Better Environment

In 2018, the City of Cape Coral and the City of Fort Myers entered into an interlocal agreement to construct a pipeline across the Caloosahatchee River to transmit reclaimed water from Fort Myers to Cape Coral. The reclaimed water transmission main will reduce nutrient discharges to the River while providing more reclaimed water to Cape Coral. The additional water source will reduce withdrawals from freshwater canals and help maintain water levels during the dry season. Reclaimed water is treated to conform to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection standards. This water is used for irrigation purposes to water lawns and for fire protection purposes.

The City of Cape Coral will construct the reclaimed water transmission main from the Everest Water Reclamation Facility, which is located in Cape Coral, to a connection point in Fort Myers near the Midpoint Bridge (see map below). The City of Fort Myers will then connect the reclaimed water main to the South Advanced Water Treatment Facility, which is located in Fort Myers.

The Caloosahatchee Connect project will:

  1. Allow the City of Cape Coral to provide reclaimed water for irrigation use and fire protection purposes. The additional water source will reduce withdrawals from freshwater canals and help maintain water levels during the dry season.
  2. Allow the City of Fort Myers to dispose of surplus reclaimed water in an environmentally friendly way, while reducing the need to discharge nutrient-rich water into the Caloosahatchee River.

The engineering firm selected by the City of Cape Coral has begun the process of designing and permitting the reclaimed water transmission main that will cross under the Caloosahatchee River just south of the Midpoint Bridge. The project is expected to be constructed using a combination of traditional open-cut (trench) pipe installation and horizontal directional drill (HDD) or trenchless technology. Using trenchless technology, the new pipeline will be installed under the River with no disturbance to the river bottom, avoiding harm to the environment. When complete, this 7,600-foot reclaimed water transmission main will be the largest and longest subaqueous HDD project using fusible polyvinyl chloride pipe (FPVC) in the United States.

Project timing:

  • Construction of the uplands portion of the pipeline on the north side of Everest Parkway from the Everest Water Reclamation Facility to Horton Park is expected to begin in spring 2021 and anticipated to be completed in fall 2021.
  • Construction of the HDD portion of the pipeline from Horton Park across the Caloosahatchee River to a connection point in Fort Myers is anticipated to begin in fall 2021, depending on permitting. The HDD portion of the project is anticipated to be complete by December 2022.

For more information about the project or to learn more about the HDD installation process, please visit the project website at www.CaloosahatcheeConnect.com. To receive email updates about the project, please visit the project website. If you have questions or concerns about the project, please contact the Public Information Consultant for the project at (239) 337-1071 or via email at info@CaloosahatcheeConnect.com.

Sincerely,

Jeffrey Pearson, MS, PMP, PWE

Utilities Director