City of Fort Myers readies sludge dump for full testing
Environmental consultants, media and city of Fort Myers staff gathered on South Street Wednesday for a moment both ordinary and extraordinary – the installation of a new monitoring well on a former city landfill where contaminated lime sludge was dumped over 50 years ago and left there, exposed, as a neighborhood grew around it.
The new well marks a new chapter for the city and the state Department of Environmental Protection as they embark on a more thorough site assessment that some experts say should have been done 10 years ago when unsafe arsenic levels were found.
Monitoring wells exist on contaminated sites in Fort Myers and across Florida to test the surface water and see if the pollution on the site is getting into the groundwater, where most drinking water comes from.
The well installed Wednesday replaces one of six put there by the city under DEP supervision in 2008. Known as “well number one,” it was among the top three testing highest for arsenic, located at the northwest corner of the site.