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Lake Okeechobee Water Level Being Lowered Again

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WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is lowering the water level of Lake Okeechobee once again due to above-average rainfall in September.

Water is released from the lake in order to reduce pressure on the aging Herbert Hoover Dike. Parts of the earthen dike date to the 1930s.

The water is directed into the Caloosahatchee River and the St. Lucie estuary. However, critics say polluted freshwater from the lake has ravaged those ecosystems this summer.

Drier conditions in August allowed the Corps to reduce the flow of water from the lake. However, Lt. Col. Tom Greco says above-average rainfall returned in September.

Water levels in the lake were at 15.75 feet Monday. The Corps aims to keep that level between 12.5 feet and 15.5 feet.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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