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Utilities Extension Project

Bioswales Pilot Program

The City of Cape Coral has received a total of $2.2 Million in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) grant funding from the Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) for stormwater improvements for the North 2 UEP. These funds will be applied towards replacement of approximately 1,600 catch basins and installation of approximately 9,000 lineal feet of bioswales.  Replacement of the catch basins is now complete.  The Bioswale installation will occur in Fall 2020 and will be completed by the end of the calendar year.  Homeowners will receive letters in the mail informing them if their swale is part of the bioswale program. 

 The roadside swales in these selected locations will be a part of a bioswale pilot project to improve water quality in Cape Coral. The bioswale project includes the use of bio-activated media to filter pollutants and nutrients contained in stormwater runoff. The Bioswale media used is approximately 12 inches thick and is covered with six inches of common fill and sod. From the surface, the bioswales look no different than a typical roadside swale. However, it is anticipated that the bioswales will help to improve the quality of water that is conveyed to the City’s canals.

 Panoramic View
PHOTO: Panoramic view of Bioswale construction in progress.

 Two types of bioactivated media are being utilized in the pilot project. In Contract 2, south of Rosemary Canal, the City is utilizing Bold & Gold® Filtration Media, a blend of inert biosorption activated materials with no organics. In Contract 1, north of the Rosemary Canal, the City is utilizing Nutrigone™, which consists of all-natural denitrification and phosphorus absorption media. Both products have been tested successfully to filter suspended solids and remove nitrogen and other harmful nutrients in other municipalities within Florida.  The removal of nutrients improves the water quality in the City’s canals, as well as the adjacent Charlotte Harbor estuary.

 Removal of Sod and Excavation 1
PHOTO: Removal of Sod and Excavation

 Installation of Bio-Activated Media 1
PHOTO: Installation of Bio-Activated Media


Resotred Swale with New Sod 1
PHOTO: Restored Swale with new sod.

Monitoring is a major part of the bioswale program.  The City of Cape Coral has an environmental lab that has been monitoring the water quality of the canals and swales in Contracts 1 and 2 of the North 2 UEP for the past year and a half. The City’s Environmental Department will continue to monitor the water quality in the bioswales and the canals after completion of construction.  The results of the data collection and water quality analyses will be reported to the FDEP to fulfill the requirements of the TMDL grant agreement.

If you would like to see a map of the locations that have Bioswales please click below:
Contract 1
Contract 2

If you have any questions about the bioswale project, please contact Audrie Goodwin, Senior Engineer at (239) 242-3656 or .