A critical piece of the Villages efforts to improve the quality of water in the Estero River and Estero Bay is the reduction and eventual elimination of septic tanks and package waste water treatment plants in Esteroespecially those located closest to the Estero River. Water monitoring and recent studies indicate septic tanks and package waste water treatment plants are likely contributing to the bacteria and nutrient loads in the river.

The first phase is currently being designed and includes the communities of Cypress Bend, Estero Bay Village and Sunny Grove. All three of these communities use package waste water treatment plants and percolation ponds to treat and dispose of their domestic waste water. These communities were selected first due to the large benefit (improved water quality) to cost (dollars spent) ratio expected for each.

The current project schedule includes permitting through the summer, bidding by the fall and the start of construction by the end of 2022.

The Village is working to identify a variety of federal, state and local funding sources to reduce the costs to affected residents. To expedite the projects, the Village is planning to pay for the design, permitting and construction until property assessments are in place for fiscal year 2023-2024. The Villages contractor is currently working on cost estimates for each project, which will be provided to each community as soon as they are completed.

Future utility extension projects will include all properties along Broadway Avenue East and West. The Village will be working on the design and permitting for these areas through 2023. Construction is expected to occur in multiple phases, which will be identified after design and permitting is complete.

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