The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board awarded a $58.5 million contract Thursday to build the main pump station for the Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir.

“This is an important day for the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary and for the entire West Coast region,” said SFWMD Governing Board Member Jaime Weisinger in a printed statement. “This pump station is a key component of making the restoration brought by the reservoir a reality.”

The C-43 Reservoir, located in Hendry County, will be able to hold up to 170,000 acre-feet of water from the Caloosahatchee River. The reservoir will be able to reduce the frequency of damaging discharges to the Caloosahatchee Estuary from Lake Okeechobee during wetter periods. During drier periods, the C-43 will provide the Caloosahatchee Estuary a much needed supply of fresh water to help balance salinity levels necessary for seagrasses and wildlife to thrive.

The S-470 pump station, the main inflow pump station for the reservoir, will be able to move 1,500 cubic feet per second of water from the Caloosahatchee River into the reservoir for storage, capturing excess flows from the river during the wet season and releasing it back to the river during the dry season. A final contract to build the embankments and other control structures to complete the reservoir is expected to be awarded late next year.

Click here to watch a video about the Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir.

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