VIDEO - Are Cape Coral canal levels improving with Charlotte County wate - WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida


Since the end of April, millions of gallons of water have been pumping into Cape Coral canals 24 hours a day.

The measure is being taken because the city has been hard hit by the serious drought.

“It’s frustrating; it’s very frustrating," said Ron Brandich as he walked down his back steps to his pontoon boat.

Brandich lives on a canal near Nelson Road in Cape Coral and has been landlocked for quite some time.

"We've lived here five years and ... this is the lowest I've seen it," he added.

Brandich and other neighbors around him are stuck on land because their boats are either stuck or can't be put into the water because of how low the water level is.

"The boat cannot be moved," Brandich said as he stood over his beached pontoon.

Hope is on the canal's horizon, though. The city is no longer relying on Mother Nature and has been pumping in millions of gallons of water into its canals from a reservoir in Charlotte County.

“It’s not good, so filling those canals up is a top priority,” said Jeff Pearson, the city's utility director.

The water, which can be pumped out at as much as 17 million gallons a day, is taken from a large pool of water in Punta Gorda. It travels along US-41 and eventually into the canals.

This will not only help boaters like Brandich but also the water restrictions that have been placed on residents, and residents' overall safety since the city's fire fighters rely on the canal water.

"We’re seeing positive results north of Pine Island Road," says Pearson. "If there was a grass fire, [or] anything like that, the fire department can draft water from the canals and put the fire out."

Even with the pumping, Brandich says he's only seen the water go up a few inches this month and says it will take more than manpower to help this drought.

“We need help from the big man in the sky," Brandich said with a laugh.

The city started pumping water on April 28 and says it has the resources to pump for 90 days.