City - News

Posted on: September 15, 2017

Many Hurricane-Related Wastewater Issues are Preventable- Conservation can thwart sewer issues

Manhole Cover

FORT MYERS, FL (September 15, 2017) – For the safety and comfort of our citizens, the City of Fort Myers is urging that residents and businesses practice responsible water conservation until our area has recovered from the Hurricane. Water conservation practices can help to prevent wastewater overflows, spills, and other issues.

Power outages like those experienced during Hurricane Irma can disrupt operations at the lift stations that are used to send wastewater to treatment plants.  If lift stations cannot convey sewage to the wastewater plants, sewage can overflow and even back up into homes. The City is one of many communities across the state that have experienced wastewater overflows during the power shortage. Through Friday afternoon, seventeen Irma-related wastewater issues had been documented in the City.

The vast majority (84%) of the City’s lift stations are operational, and the City has deployed portable generators and pumps for temporary relief of wastewater issues. However, the lift stations will not be fully operational until power is restored to all parts of the City.  Until then, water conservation is the easiest way to prevent sewage backups and overflows.

The City’s Public Works department encourages a number of responsible water conservation practices:

  • Please limit toilet flushing
  • If you need to take a shower, make it brief. 
  • Limit the amount of water used to take a bath
  • Do not run the dishwasher or your clothes washing machine
  • Make sure your automatic sprinklers are turned off

Residents should refrain from tampering with their sewer cleanouts. Instead, citizens who notice a wastewater spill or who have questions about their water service may call the City call center at 239-321-8100.  Residents are asked to reserve use of 9-1-1 for life safety emergencies only.  General information about the emergency shelters, food relief, recovery efforts, and well-being checks can call the 2-1-1 Help Line by dialing 2-1-1 or 239-433-3900.  United Way 2-1-1 staff will assist by providing information from the Lee County Operations Center.  The 2-1-1 Help Line is operational from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. 

The City will continue to activate local recovery from Hurricane Irma and issue more updates.

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