Caloosahatchee River Crossing

Cardno is assisting the Cities of Cape Coral and Fort Myers, Florida. The cities entered into an interlocal agreement to construct a pipeline across the Caloosahatchee River in an effort to deliver 12 million gallons per day (MGD) of reclaimed water from Fort Myers to Cape Coral daily.

The reclaimed water transmission main will reduce discharges to the river while providing more reclaimed water to Cape Coral, which will help to maintain freshwater canal levels during the dry season. The water is used for irrigation and for fire protection purposes.

Cape Coral will install a pipeline from the Everest Water Reclamation Facility (EWRF) to the river entry point at a nearby park. The pipeline will be installed under the river with an exit point located in Fort Myers. Fort Myers will connect the reclaimed water pipeline from the river exit point at San Marcos in Fort Myers to their South Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility.

The design will also include a distribution manifold at the EWRF that connects the new reclaimed water main to the city’s public access reuse system (irrigation system) or to the injection well for disposal at the EWRF.

Cardno’s water and wastewater team is providing professional engineering services related to design, surveying, geotechnical services, environmental and regulatory permitting, bidding services, and construction services for a pipeline enabling Cape Coral to receive at the EWRF the agreed upon maximum reclaimed water flow from Fort Myers. Our team evaluated various alternatives for crossing the Caloosahatchee River, including Trenchless Method Alternatives, before selecting the horizontal directional drilling method.

Scheduled to be completed in January 2023, the project involves one of the largest sub-aqueous horizontal directional drilling crossings in the world with a constructed pipe 110 feet below the water’s surface. The project also includes a significant outreach to the public and other key stakeholders. A public relations firm has assisted the project with public outreach through a dedicated website called Caloosahatchee Connect, featuring project facts, frequently asked questions, the project schedule, and a video illustrating the work being completed.

This challenging project offers a sustainability component, helping the community control the release of nitrogen loading to the river, following State of Florida regulations to protect nearby springs. Currently the city of Cape Coral is pulling much of their reclaimed water from freshwater canals.