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City of Fort Myers restores water to 50% of people

Internet and electricity delayed restoration
Water tank
Posted at 8:14 PM, Oct 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-03 21:34:04-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The City of Fort Myers has restored water to about 50-percent of people. However, City Manager Marty Lawing admitted on Monday afternoon they are behind where they would like to be.

"Yesterday we got a little bit of water supply enough to trickle through the sinks and flush our toilets, but it’s not enough to survive on and shower," said Janine Fakiris, who lives in downtown Fort Myers. "Just tell us what we can expect."

The delay in restoration comes back to Internet and electricity.

"We are able to really see the entire system throughout the city through the Internet and we cannot run without the electric and the Internet," said Liz Bello-Matthews, spokesperson for the City of Fort Myers. "So now we can actually see the system and start to identify some of the breaks that we have and some of the issues that we have throughout."

The City of Fort Myers got Internet back on Monday. However, if a certain area has no power then they need to bring electricity to it.

"We do have some generators in some areas and we have been able to move those around so that we can power more areas, to be able to see more," Bello-Matthew said.

Another challenge they're facing is a main leak they can't find.

"We think it's just draining our system and causing — increasing demand on the system," Lawing explained.

About half of the wells are back up and running along with the water plant, allowing filtration and water production.

"I believe the tank level was 7.8 feet in our lead tank and at that point we were producing more water than what was being demanded on the system," Lawing said.

The biggest question: when will water fully come back?

"We have developed a strategy, which will be a phased strategy to restore water service to the customers that currently do not have service," Lawing said. "The first step in that process will be to increase the system pressure from about 30 psi to about 40 psi."

The phases will be similar to what the City did when it purchased water from Lee County.

"In an ideal world, we would be able to accomplishment that by the end of the week, but it depends on what it looks like when we open up each phase, what our pressure looks like," Lawing explained.

To help with water main breaks, the City is asking for your help. If you see bubbling from a manhole, you're asked to call 239-321-7000 because it could mean there's a break the City doesn't know about.

"As we start fixing and creating more water and increasing pressure because we have more water to give — they’re going to start getting more and more pressure and therefore more water in their homes," Bello-Matthews said.