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.

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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.

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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.

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