Monday, 11 December 2006 00:00
Weir Number TwoWritten by Mike Kiniry
The main drainage system for Collier County’s sprawling Golden Gate Estates is getting an upgrade. The South Florida Water Management District has broken ground on what’s called ‘Weir Number Two’.
It’s one of 3 gate-like structures along the Golden Gate Canal that let water managers control how quickly water flows through it.
Director of the District’s Big Cypress Basin - Clarence Tears – says this new weir will give them much more flexibility.
“We’re replacing that wall with draw bridges which open up incrementally. And we can open it up a little bit earlier in the wet season to get some of that freshwater needed to the estuaries and hopefully reduce the impacts during major storm events to the estuaries. And also it gives us the ability to hold water back during dry season.”
Flooding has been a problem for many residents of Golden Gate Estates - especially during heavy rainfall events like Tropical Storm Ernesto this summer – because gates like Weir Number Two couldn’t let water through fast enough.
But the on flip side of that coin…environmental groups say too much water flowing from the canal hurts Naples Bay. Tears says the ultimate goal is to strike a balance between the two.
Water managers in Collier County will soon have more control over how much water flows through the Golden Gate Canal.
They broke ground this morning on Weir Number Two.
The gate-like structure they’re replacing is basically just a wall that water flows over if it reaches a certain height. The new one will allow incremental changes in how quickly – or slowly – water flows.
Director of the District’s Big Cypress Basin - Clarence Tears – says the added flexibility will aid a return to more historic flows.
“This is the Golden Gate main drainage system. It drains about 120 square mile area…historically it only drained 10. We’re trying to divert some of the surface water flows further to the south, and by adding these structures we’ll be able to do that, and try to mimic the more natural historic flows that went through Collier County.”
Environmental groups say too much fresh water flowing from the canal is harming Naples Bay.
The new weir will also help reduce flooding after major rainfall events by allowing water to flow more quickly than with the old, simple structure being replaced.
The 4-point-2-million-dollar project should be complete in 2 years.