NBC-2: US Army Corps engineers to decide how much water to release to fix rising lake levels

October 14, 2020
Reporter: Zach Barrett
October 13th, 2020


The waters around Southwest Florida are staying clean — for now.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has yet to make a decision when or how much fresh water will be released from Lake Okeechobee to the coasts to alleviate the rising lake levels.

As of Tuesday, the levels on Lake Okeechobee sat around 16 feet. Ideal lake typically sit around 12-15 feet.

Chris Wittman, the co-founder of Captains for Clean Water, said it will take some time to get that amount of water out of the lake.

“The lake is over 16 foot. They need to take a foot or so off the lake, that’s going to take a long time,” said Wittman.
The Army Corps could send as much as 4,000 cubic feet per second to the Caloosahatchee river for a month. 4,000 cfs equates to about 30,000 gallons per second that could flow into the river. Wittman said that amount of water rushing in for that long could have a detrimental impact on our water quality and marine life.