NewsRegion Okeechobee County


Proposal would send Lake Okeechobee discharges underground

Posted at 5:10 AM, Oct 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-12 09:13:54-04

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers is closely monitoring the high level of water in Lake Okeechobee and how it’s affecting the Herbert Hoover Dike.

However, another group will look at an alternate solution for that problem in the future.

On Thursday, the South Florida Water Management District will examine a proposal that would pumping extra water from the lake underground.

The water district will hear about the possibility of drilling 50 wells thousands of feet deep in order to pump excess lake water into caverns beneath the drinking water supply.

Those could then take in 15 million gallons of water a day.

This isn’t a new concept.

The water district’s lead hydrogeologist says several deep injection wells have been in use for decades in Pahokee, Belle Glade and Clewiston.

He says the wells would only be used when the level of the lake reaches the point of needing discharges.

The project could cost $330 million, which is one of the reasons why environmental groups oppose the idea.  They would like to see water treated and sent south to the Everglades.

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