TC PALM: South Florida water district back-pumps Glades communities' water into Lake Okeechobee

TC Palm: Written by Tyler Treadway. September 15, 2017.

The Army Corps of Engineers started discharging Lake Okeechobee water east to the St. Lucie River to lower the lake level days after the South Florida Water Management District started pumping water into the lake.

More: TCPalm's coverage of Hurricane Irma

The district started pumping water into the lake Monday after water in canals in the Belle Glade and South Bay in western Palm Beach County "rose to levels that forced evacuations," said spokesman Randy Smith. "The pumps are being used to protect the families and businesses there and will continue until the threat to human safety does not exist."

Sending water from south of the lake into the lake is commonly called "back-pumping."

The district has been back-pumping "around the clock," Smith said. "We've pumped out enough to get the water level on the way down. We're not at the position we want to be."

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