The City of Fort Myers Stormwater Management Division exists to achieve and maintain a high level of drainage and flood protection for all citizens and to monitor, improve, and maintain water quality in compliance with state and federal permit requirements.
What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is the flow of water during and immediately after a rain event. As rain falls to earth in agricultural and undeveloped areas, it is either absorbed or it slowly runs off and dissipates. Impervious surfaces such as rooftops and paved areas not only prevent water from being absorbed, but cause it to run off at a much faster rate, picking up pesticides, fertilizer, oils, greases, lead, iron and other pollutants from roads, parking lots, yards and roofs. As a result, unmanaged urban storm water runoff can cause increased flooding and ecological damage, in particular to Billy’s Creek and the Caloosahatchee River.
The City of Fort Myers has infrastructure in place to manage this stormwater runoff, but the system must be maintained to keep it functioning. This involves repairing and replacing pipes and structures that are aging.
Stormwater Regulatory Requirements
Federal and State legislation, and their subsequent regulatory requirements, form the basis for the changes in stormwater management programs in Florida in the last 2 decades. This legislation has expanded the focus of a city's drainage program to include flood plain regulation, water quality management, and ecological preservation.
Meeting our Needs
Water quality and stormwater runoff have become expensive issues affecting public service, public health, and the environment. Federal and state regulations on stormwater are becoming increasingly restrictive. To meet these challenges, the City of Fort Myers Stormwater Program must be upgraded to increase the service level for the public. In an effort to find a fair, equitable way to fund stormwater activities, the City of Fort Myers implements a stormwater user fee in March 2009. The stormwater user fee will provide a funding source for customer needs such as:
- Educating and involving the public on stormwater
- Fulfilling Environmental Protection Agency requirements
- Reducing flooding
- Reducing pollution carried off by rain water
- Replacing old pipe systems