Lake O surplus release into Caloosahatchee river

Posted at 9:14 AM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 10:00:53-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- This weekend, Lake Okeechobee's surplus water is being released into the Caloosahatchee River. The Army Corp of Engineers says they have to relieve high lake water levels brought on by all the recent rain.

A spokesperson for the water management district says that in relation to the lake's size, the volume released for flood control is relatively small.

Environmentalists from the Sierra Club Calusa Group don't think so and have been sounding the alarm about potentially polluted water flow from Lake Okeechobee. "Brown water, fish kills, people getting lesions on there body, " said John Scott from the organization. "If you have an open sore and you go in, there is also flesh eating bacteria that we've seen some people die from."

The Army Corp of Engineers say they will only release as much water as is necessary but Scott says a little is enough. "If you take a bath and somebody pours acid into a small corner of the bathtub...I mean we're talking about a much smaller scale...but eventually it's going to migrate into the rest of the water in the tub."