C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir Water Quality Feasibility Study Working Group
The C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir (WBSR) is one component of the larger Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), a comprehensive hydrologic restoration project for the water resources of central and south Florida that was authorized by Congress in 2000. As part of this plan, the C-43 WBSR was designed to store approximately 170,000 acre-feet of local basin stormwater runoff and releases from Lake Okeechobee. It will reduce the volume of discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee Estuary during the wet season and provide a source of freshwater flow to the estuary during the dry season to help balance salinity levels and provide flows to plants and wildlife when needed. The reservoir is under construction on a 10,500-acre parcel owned by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). Depending on storage needs, water depth in the reservoir will range from 15 to 25 feet and will comprise a significant portion of the overall water storage requirement for the Caloosahatchee River Basin. In addition, the project is envisioned to provide public access and recreational opportunities, as well as maintain allocated water supply to the local agricultural areas adjacent to the reservoir.
On January 10, 2019, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Executive Order 19-12 which called for greater protection of Florida’s environment and water quality, particularly in relation to the harmful blue-green algal blooms in south Florida. Specifically, the Executive Order directed the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to work with the SFWMD to add a stormwater treatment component to the C-43 WBSR, with the intent of providing additional treatment and improving the quality of water leaving this important storage component of the CERP. This initiative is being implemented through the C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study.
Map of C-43 WBSR
The Feasibility Study
The FDEP, SFWMD, and local governments within the Caloosahatchee Watershed are partnering to develop a C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study (Study), which will evaluate conventional and innovative biological, physical and chemical technologies to determine the most technically-feasible and cost-effective methods of providing additional treatment and improving the quality of water leaving the C-43 WBSR, which is currently under construction. Collectively, representatives of FDEP, SFWMD, Lee County, Hendry County, Lehigh Acres, City of Cape Coral, and City of Sanibel make up the C-43 WBSR Water Quality Working Group (Working Group). The Working Group will provide guidance to the SFWMD Project Manager responsible for administering the contract and acting as the liaison between the Working Group and the C-43 WBSR Study Consultant J-Tech.
The 18 month Study began on July 3, 2018 and will be completed by December 2020.
The objectives of the Study are:
- Identify technically-feasible and cost-effective options to reduce discharge of nutrients from the C-43 WBSR that may contribute to blue-green algal blooms to the downstream Caloosahatchee Estuary;
- Conduct a literature review of existing pertinent studies;
- Review and evaluate applicable water quality treatment technologies suitable for pre-treatment, in-reservoir treatment, and/or post-treatment of the C-43 WBSR;
- Conduct four public meetings;
- Obtain a cost-benefit, alternatives, and trade-off analysis of the selected water quality treatment technologies ; and
- Maintain current C-43 WBSR CERP construction schedule and Congressionally-approved project purposes.
Link to Studies
The Working Group is compiling a repository of pertinent studies available to use as resources for the C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study. To access the repository, click the links below.
- General Documents
- Treatment Technologies Documents
- Wetland Treatment Technology Documents
- Basin Water Quality Study Documents
- Blue-Green Algae Documents
Link to FDEP Technology Library for Water Issues
The following is a link to FDEP’s Library of Accepted Water Issues Technologies.
Acceptance of a proposed technology indicates that FDEP technical experts believe it has the potential to be effective in a specific application but does not imply commercial endorsement or recommendation for use.
Link to Final C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study Work Plan
The Final C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study Work Plan has been completed. To view the Work Plan, click HERE.
Parties interested in submitting a Water Issues Technology for review by the C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study Working Group that may be suitable as a pre-treatment, in-reservoir treatment, and/or post-treatment application to the C-43 WBSR, may do so by providing your treatment proposal to C43WaterQuality@sfwmd.gov before Jan. 30, 2020. To avoid redundancy, please do not submit Accepted Technologies or In-House Technology Requests from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Library of Accepted Water Issues Technologies (link above); these submission will NOT be reviewed.
Link to Final C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study Information Collection Summary Report
The Final C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study Information Collection Summary Report is now complete and can be viewed in the below link:
Link to Final C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study
The Final C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study is expected to be complete by or before December 2020. Use these links to view the Final Study documents
To learn more about C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study or get involved, the Working Group welcomes you to participate in the following public meetings. To view press releases and public meeting notes, click HERE.
|1||Friday – September 27, 2019||2:00pm – 4:00pm||
SW Florida Community Foundation Collaboratory:
|2||Tuesday – January 21, 2020||2:00pm – 4:00pm||Hendry County Extension Office:
1085 Pratt Boulevard
LaBelle, FL 33976
|3||Wednesday – March 25, 2020||6:00pm – 8:00pm||The public workshop will be online only at SFWMD.gov|
|4||Thursday – July 16, 2020||2:00pm – 4:00pm||The public workshop will be online only at SFWMD.gov|
Public Meetings Videos
Public meetings for the C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study will be posted below.