Water managers divert billions of gallons from Lake O to Martin County FPL facility

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In response to the toxic algae blooms emergency on Florida’s coastline and waterways, billions of gallons of Lake Okeechobee water are now being diverted to the Florida Power and Light Clean Energy Center in Martin County.

The plant serves hundreds of thousands of homes, using primarily natural gas and solar, reports LobbyTools.

Located in Indiantown, the facility holds a 6,800-acre reservoir as a cooling pond.

“The water is used to help cool the plant, to allow us to generate power,” said FPL spokeswoman Sarah Gatewood.

LobbyTools notes water managers began diverting Lake Okeechobee water last week to the plant and away from coastal Martin County, which is facing a toxic algae crisis.

Gov. Rick Scott‘s executive order directed them to look for private locations to store the excess water, South Florida Water Management District officials say.

The FPL cooling pond is attached to the St. Lucie Canal, which takes Lake Okeechobee water to the Stuart area.

“We have the ability and capacity, and so we’re happy to be able to do what we can to help,” Gatewood added.

FPL expects to take on more than two billion gallons a month in the pool through September.

Phil Ammann

Phil Ammann is a Tampa Bay-area journalist, editor and writer. With more than three decades of writing, editing, reporting and management experience, Phil produced content for both print and online, in addition to founding several specialty websites, including HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government, entertainment reviews, marketing and an advice column. Phil has served as editor and production manager for Extensive Enterprises Media since 2013 and lives in Tampa with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul. He can be reached on Twitter @PhilAmmann or at [email protected].


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