Drought dries up private wells in Fort Myers

Posted at 6:42 PM, Apr 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-14 18:42:41-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- People in several Fort Myers neighborhoods are experiencing water shortages, as a drought persists in Southwest Florida, Friday.

Conditions have gotten so bad, the South Florida Water Management District issued a water shortage warning on Thursday. With more people in town during the dry season, demand for water is high, while supply is extremely low. The area has received nearly 6 inches less rain than average during this time of year, causing some wells to dry up. "There's probably been three dozen or so wells in Lee County where wells have run dry," said Phil Flood from the South Florida Water Management District. "This year, given the limited amount of rainfall we've had, we've really seen them lower than normal."

This comes as several neighbors in the Florimond Manor area reported their private wells drying up. As a result, some have had to repair their systems, or drill deeper wells.

Neighbor Bernie Crews tells Fox 4 he is now watering his lawn only once a week, and hopes his neighbors do the same. He posted a sign at the corner of his street, asking his neighbors to conserve water in light of the warning. "I wanted to let everyone in the neighborhood know that we're being affected by it and it's costing people money."

He is referring the pricey repairs for well systems. If aquifer levels continue to sink, and motors continue running with no water to pump, those motors burn up. In that case, a contractor would have to elongate pipes into the well, or make the well deeper. "You're looking at a $1,000 dollar repair, easy," said Crews. 

Lee County has the following waterering restrictions in place:

Odd-number addresses (ending in 1, 3, 5, 7, 9) have approved irrigation days Wednesdays and/or Saturdays from midnight to 9 A.M. and/or 5 P.M. to midnight.

Even-number addresses (ending in 0, 2, 4, 6, 8) have approved irrigation days Thursdays and/or Sundays from midnight to 9 A.M. and/or 5 P.M. to midnight.

The South Florida Water Management District encourages people to conserve water in a number of ways. For more information, click here.