CERP Project:
Lake Okeechobee Aquifer Storage and Recovery

This full-scale project includes a series of aquifer storage and recovery wells adjacent to Lake Okeechobee with a capacity of one billion gallons per day and associated pre- and post- water quality treatment in Glades and Okeechobee Counties. The initial design assumes 200 wells, each with the capacity of 5 million gallons per day with 8- ultra-filtration water quality pre-treatment facilities and aeration for post-treatment. Based on information from existing aquifer storage and recovery facilities, it is assumed that recovery of aquifer-stored water would have no adverse effects on water quality conditions in Lake Okeechobee. In fact, some level of nutrient load reduction may occur as a result of aquifer storage, which would be a long-term benefit to in-lake water quality conditions.

The purpose of this project is to:

  1. Provide additional regional storage while reducing both evaporation losses and the amount of land removed from current land use (e.g. agriculture) normally associated with construction and operation of above-ground storage reservoirs;

  2. Increase the Lake's water storage capability to better meet regional water supply demands for agriculture, Lower East Coast urban areas, and the Everglades;

  3. Manage a portion of regulatory releases from the Lake primarily to improve Everglades hydropatterns and to meet supplemental water supply demands of the Lower East Coast;

  4. Reduce harmful regulatory discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries; and

  5. Maintain and enhance the existing level of flood protection.

Operation assumes that after treatment, water from the Lake Okeechobee will be injected into the upper Floridan Aquifer when the climate-based inflow model forecasts a water level significantly above what is desirable for the littoral zone (shoreline ecosystem). Water in the aquifer may be returned to the lake, post-aeration treatment, when the level falls during a dry season.

Project Details:

Project Sponsor:

South Florida Water Management District

Project Schedule:

For scheduling information regarding this project, please see the Master Implementation Sequencing Plan (MISP).

Project Phase:

Pre-Construction, Engineering and Design

Design Agreement:

12 May 2000

CERP Component Designation:

GG (Part 1, 2 and 3)

Project Cooperation Agreement:



Not currently authorized


Project Contacts:

Orlando Ramos-Gines
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Bob Verrastro
South Florida Water Management District