C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir Water Quality Component 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 Component Project.
Map of C-43 WBSR
The Feasibility Study
The FDEP, SFWMD, and local governments within the Caloosahatchee Watershed partnered to develop a C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study (Study), which evaluated 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 provided 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 July 2018 and was completed December 2020.
The objectives of the Study were:
- 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 compiled 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 on the below link:
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, were able to do so by providing a treatment proposal to C43WaterQuality@sfwmd.gov before Jan. 30, 2020.
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 now complete and can be viewed in the below link:
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 Component - Siting Evaluation (WQC-SE) 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 WQC-SE Consultant J-Tech.
The 9 month Project began in December 2020 and will be completed September 2021.
The C-43 WBSR WQC Feasibility Study identified the following technology alternatives as providing the greatest cost-benefit:
- Alum treatment – both as an offline treatment facility and online, in-reservoir treatment system
- 1,000-ac treatment wetland with parallel 104-ac Bold & Gold® treatment
- 668-ac HWTT
- 200-ac sand filter with parallel 104-ac Bold & Gold® treatment
The objectives of the C-43 WBSR WQC-SE are to evaluate the four water quality treatment technology alternatives identified above as viable alternatives using a siting study to determine land availability, conveyance routing feasibility and specific infrastructure needs; water quality analysis to evaluate and identify the maximum water quality treatment efficiencies for each alternative, as well as a more in-depth analysis of expected water quality and chemistry to more specifically evaluate project performance and identify attainable target TN, TP, and TSS reduction rates; and development of conceptual design plans and corresponding cost estimates to identify one alternative as the selected WQC Plan. The Site Evaluation shall take into consideration existing C-43 reservoir flow intake and discharge projections, the available approximately 1,900 acres of lands north of the reservoir, and shall not restrict the project to just those lands, if the acquisition of additional land is deemed necessary and cost-effective.
Given the stakeholder comments supporting the continued consideration of a full-scale STA based on the proven history of success across South Florida, magnitude of ancillary benefits these systems offer to humans and wildlife, provision of additional storage volume, and avoidance of chemical application to meet water quality improvement, a full-scale STA shall be evaluated in the WQC-SE as well.
If funded, the selected WQC Plan will move forward to detailed Design under a separate contract with the goal of project construction to be completed and online concurrently with full operation of the reservoir. During detailed Design, the selected WQC Plan may be refined and optimized, which may include adjustments to the size and layout of the project, as well as the relocation, addition, removal, and/or combining of some water control structures and conveyance features.
Link to Final C-43 WBSR WQC Siting Evaluation Report
Link to Final C-43 WBSR WQC Conceptual Design Report
Link to Final C-43 WBSR WQC Plan Selection Memorandum
The Final C-43 WBSR WQC Plan Selection Memorandum is now complete and can be viewed in the below link:
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|
|5||Thursday – December 2, 2020||10:00am – 12:00pm||The public workshop will be online only at SFWMD.gov|
|6||Thursday – April 15, 2021||10:00am – 12:00pm||The public workshop will be online only at SFWMD.gov|
|7||TBD||TBD||The public workshop will be online only at SFWMD.gov|
Public Meetings Videos
Public meetings for the C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study and Water Quality Component (WQC) Siting Evaluation will be posted below.
- C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study Public Meeting # 1 (09/27/2019)
- C-43 Reservoir Project Groundbreaking Event (10/25/2019)
- C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study Public Meeting # 2 (01/21/2020)
- C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study Public Meeting #3 (03/25/2020)
- C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study Public Meeting #4 (07/16/2020)
- C-43 WBSR Water Quality Feasibility Study Public Meeting #5 (12/02/2020)
- C-43 WBSR WQC Siting Evaluation Public Meeting #6 (04/15/2021)