LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. -- Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District (LAMSID) just completed the Moving Water South Phase II: Blackstone Preserve Project.
It plays a pivotal role in improving flood control, “we’ll have upwards of 700 acre feet of water that won’t make it to the Caloosahatchee River,” said David Lindsay, District Manager, Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District.
The project is designed to take water from a canal that would otherwise go into the Caloosahatchee River, but instead it'll pump it into the Blackstone Preserve.
“It's 70 acres has a berm all the way around the outside, and there’s no way for that water to leave except to percolate through the sand and the soils,” said Michael Cook, Assistant District Manager, Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District.
Having this water stored in a wetland will keep excess nitrogen and phosphorous out of the river, too much of those components are what fuel blue-green algae blooms. In return, it'll preserve the wetland back to its natural habitat.
“It also helps with aquifers, most of Lehigh Acres is on wells not public water and sewer, so every new house you build with a well lowers that water table, and these projects that store water on the land, help to replenish those wells,” said Cook.
This was constructed in partnership with Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT).
The project was funded by LAMISD $317K, a $517K grant from FDEP, $200K from SFWMD, and a coordinated effort with FDOT that saved a combined total of more than $20 million.
The Blackstone Preserve Project is one of eight projects that will help to improve the area's water storage capacity.