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Fort Myers still behind anticipations, water restored to only about half of the households

FORT MYERS, Fla.  — Water service has been restored to about half of the city’s population by the City of Fort Myers. On the other hand, City Manager Marty Lawing confessed that they are not as far ahead as they would want to be on Monday afternoon.

“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 slow progress of the repair may be traced back to issues with the internet and energy.

“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 was able to reconnect to the internet on Monday. On the other hand, if there is no electricity in a certain region, then they will have to deliver it there.

“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.

They are also having trouble locating a major leak, which is another problem they are dealing with.

“We think it’s just draining our system and causing — increasing demand on the system,” Lawing explained.

The water plant and almost half of the wells have been brought back online, which has made it possible to resume water purification and 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 most important issue is: when will the water completely return?

“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 city will go through the stages in a manner quite similar to how it did so when it acquired 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.

The city needs your assistance in repairing broken water mains and is asking for it. If you see bubbling coming from a manhole, you are asked to contact the City at 239-321-7000 because it may indicate that there is a breach in the sewer system that the City is unaware of.

“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.

Lowell Bowen

From the time he was 8 years old Lowell knew he wanted to be on TV. Well, as people say one thing leads to another, that's how Lowell started his career in the news industry. Lowell has been part of The South Florida Daily since the very beginning.

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