Frequently Asked Questions
PURPOSE AND NEED
What is the purpose of this project?
The purpose of the Caloosahatchee Connect project is to enable the City of Cape Coral to receive reclaimed water from the City of Fort Myers by connecting the two systems via a pipeline. This project will be beneficial to both the City of Cape Coral and the City of Fort Myers. The reclaimed water transmission main will reduce discharges to the River while providing more reclaimed water to Cape Coral. The additional water source will reduce withdrawals from freshwater canals and help maintain water levels during the dry season. Reclaimed water is treated to conform to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection standards. This water is used for irrigation purposes to water lawns and for fire protection purposes only. Reclaimed water is NOT potable water.
CITY OF CAPE CORAL – ROLE AND BENEFITS
What is the City of Cape Coral’s role in the project?
The City of Cape Coral will construct the reclaimed water transmission main from the Everest Water Reclamation Facility, which is located in Cape Coral, to a connection point in Fort Myers near the Midpoint Bridge. The Cape Coral portion of the project is expected to be constructed both on land and sub-aqueously by utilizing a combination of traditional open-cut (trench) pipe installation on Everest Parkway and horizontal directional drill (HDD) or trenchless technology under the River.
What are the benefits for the City of Cape Coral?
This project will allow the City of Cape Coral to provide reclaimed water for irrigation use and fire protection purposes. The additional water source will reduce withdrawals from freshwater canals and help maintain water levels during the dry season.
CITY OF FORT MYERS – ROLE AND BENEFITS
What is the City of Fort Myers’ role in the project?
After the construction of the new pipeline between the City of Cape Coral’s Everest Water Reclamation Facility and a point near the Fort Myers’ side of the Midpoint Bridge, the City of Fort Myers will connect the South Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility, located in Fort Myers, to the eastern end of the new pipeline. All work occurring on the Fort Myers side of the project will occur on land.
What are the benefits for the City of Fort Myers?
This project will allow the City of Fort Myers to dispose of surplus reclaimed water in an environmentally friendly way, while reducing the need to discharge into the Caloosahatchee River.
I live near the drill pit sites, what should I expect during construction?
Residents near these locations will see work areas surrounded by silt fencing that contains generators and drilling equipment and materials. Sound walls will help reduce noise at the work areas. Residents can expect slight increases in truck traffic during construction hours.
Will traffic in my neighborhood be affected?
Temporary road closures and one-way traffic should be anticipated along Everest Parkway intermittently throughout construction of the project. Affected residents will be notified prior to access, detours or traffic pattern changes. Flaggers and detour signage will be posted where traffic control is necessary.
As a resident, will I be required to hook up to this reclaimed water transmission main?
No. This reclaimed water transmission main will run from the City of Fort Myers South Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility directly to the City of Cape Coral Everest Water Reclamation Facility.
HORIZONTAL DIRECTIONAL DRILL (HDD) PROCESS
What is a horizontal directional drill?
The HDD construction method installs pipelines using a drilling rig located at the ground surface. For this project, two drill rigs, one on each side of the Caloosahatchee River, will push a steerable bit along a planned path to create one continuous bore. The initial small hole will be enlarged until it reaches a size that will accommodate the new reclaimed water main pipe. Then, the new pipeline will be pulled into the bore. This trenchless installation method has many advantages over traditional open-cut or dredging techniques that have historically been used to install pipelines under rivers. Only a small amount of excavating will be done at the ground surface on each side of the river and the pipe will be installed with no disturbance to the river bottom. Using this method will allow the new pipeline to be installed while avoiding harm to the environment.
What is the horizontal directional drill process?
Step 1: Pilot Bore
The first step in the Horizontal Directional Drill process is to drill the pilot bore. This is done by pushing and rotating a drill bit along the planned path from the entry location to the exit location. Once the pilot bore reaches the exit pit, this step in the Horizontal Directional Drill process is complete.
Step 2: Reaming
Step 2 in the Horizontal Directional Drill process is reaming. This consists of pushing or pulling reaming, or widening, tools of larger diameters through the pilot bore, making the bore larger until the desired diameter is achieved.
Step 3: Fusing the reclaimed water transmission (product) pipe
The pipe sections will be lined up end to end, fused together and then inspected. The pipe is then pressure tested with water and drained, then placed on rollers with cranes and lifting equipment and strung along Everest Parkway. The rollers help stabilize and guide the pipe into the bore pit. Once the pipe is fused, staged, and tested, it is ready to be pulled into the reamed bore.
Step 4: Pull Back
During the final step, the reclaimed water transmission pipe will be pulled back in its entirety through the reamed path from Horton Park at the west end of Everest Parkway toward the Fort Myers side of the river. The pipe will be tested again and connected to the newly installed reclaimed water transmission main pipe on Everest Parkway from Horton Park to the Everest Parkway Water Reclamation Facility. The City of Fort Myers will then connect the east end of the pipe to their South Advanced Water Treatment Facility.
Will there be any environmental impacts for the Caloosahatchee River?
Using trenchless technology, the new pipeline will be installed under the River with no disturbance to the river bottom, avoiding harm to the environment.
What is reclaimed water?
Reclaimed water is wastewater that has been treated to be recycled for other purposes. This water is clean, odorless and colorless. Reclaimed water is used for irrigation purposes to water lawns and for fire protection purposes. Reclaimed water is NOT potable water.
What does subaqueous mean?
Subaqueous means underwater. For this project, the pipeline will be installed in the soils well below the bottom of the river channel.
What is fusible polyvinyl chloride (FPVC) pipe?
Fusible polyvinyl chloride pipe combines the commonly used household PVC pipe with the technology to be fused, or joined together, through the application of heat. Fusible polyvinyl chloride pipe, in this project, will be installed with trenchless methods, specifically Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), to supply the reclaimed water. This material is stronger, more cost effective, and is easier to work with than other materials.
What is effluent/wastewater effluent discharge?
Effluent discharge is defined as liquid waste material discharged into the environment. Effluent wastewater has already gone through primary and secondary treatments, clearing it of any solid particles or bacteria. Primary treatment allows for the settling of any solids. Once all solids and particles are removed, the effluent can proceed to secondary treatment. Secondary treatment is an air filtrated treatment that involves the removal of bacteria from the wastewater, then the effluent discharge is the result that flows from the process once the bacteria is removed.
What is bentonite clay?
Bentonite is a naturally occurring multipurpose clay consisting mostly of montmorillonite. Bentonite is used in a wide variety of products and processes including dietary supplements, cosmetics, and face masks to absorb oils in your skin. Bentonite is an important component in drilling fluids that is used to create the necessary fluid properties to complete the work. Bentonite seals the borehole to keep the fluid in the bore, provides gel strength to help carry the excavated soil out of the bore, lubricates and cools the drilling tools, and reduces friction during pullback of the pipe.
In Step One, a sending and a receiving pit is dug excavated and installed for the microtunnel boring machine, or MTBM. The sending pit is at the beginning point for the microtunneling operation and the receiving pit, the end point.
In Step Two, a hydraulic jacking frame is set up at the depth of pipe installation, and the microtunneling boring machine is lowered into the sending pit to begin the excavation process.
During Step Three, as the hydraulic jacking frame advances the MTBM forward, the cutter head moves through the ground, breaking it into smaller particles that are then mixed with slurry in a closed-loop circuit and transported above ground. The slurry suspends the excavated soil within the mixture, allowing it to be pumped through the system. The excavated soil is then separated from the slurry and removed from the project while the slurry returns to the slurry chamber within the MTBM to mix with additional excavated soil material. Removing the ground materials allows the cutter head to advance toward the receiving pit while a casing pipe is installed from behind. A laser-guided system relays the grade and position to the operator at all times. When the jacking system reaches the fully extended position the hydraulic jacks are retracted and another pipe is lowered into the sending pit, and the process starts again until all connected casing pipes reach the receiving pit and the MTBM can be removed.
In Step Four, the water main pipe is pushed through the casing pipe, connected on either end to the open cut portion of the water main and tested. Finally, the sending and receiving pits can be backfilled and restored. Everything above ground such as roadways and landscaping is preserved.