The Lee Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve a $14.5 million contract for the design, permitting and construction engineering to restore the Fort Myers Beach Water Reclamation Facility and enhance its capacity. The work begins in 2025.
The facility is located across the street from the Lee County Park & Ride, about 3.5 miles from the beach.
The contract was awarded to CDM Smith. The project will include rehabilitating the Water Reclamation Facility, which has experienced a loss of treatment capacity, has aging infrastructure, and sustained extensive damages due to Hurricane Ian in September 2022.
In July 2022, prior to Hurricane Ian, the County completed a master plan for the Fort Myers Beach Water Reclamation Facility. The goal of the master plan was to outline a schedule of recommended plant improvements to increase treatment capacity to handle the projected future flow conditions through the year 2050, ensure long-term efficient operation and performance, and meet the state requirements of Advanced Water Treatment.
During Hurricane Ian’s landfall in September 2022, the facility suffered severe damage due to flooding, causing saltwater intrusion and submersion to many of the facility’s buildings. The facility had a widespread electrical failure of equipment located at ground level due to on-site storm surge between 5 and 7 feet.
The master plan was then updated to include additional repairs and replacements needed and enhancements for increased resiliency measures for future protection and mitigation against climate vulnerabilities.
Also on Tuesday, the Lee Board of County Commissioners adopted a resolution approving the Fort Myers Beach Water Reclamation Facility Master Plan. This approval authorizes Lee County to submit the Plan to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for low-interest State Revolving Fund loans for the facility.
The project’s total estimated cost is $208.6 million. Construction is anticipated to start in 2025.