Residents worry contaminated well water is making them sick. Andrew West and Janine Zeitlin/


Read our special report on the water in Charleston Park.

Part 1: How the government failed one Lee County community

Officials heard concerns about bad drinking water, considered fixes, then gave up. And they're legally not obligated to find a solution to the polluted wells.

Part 2: Residents fear disease lurks in their drinking water

Tests showed Charleston Park wells had bacteria, elevated nitrates. A deep well failed several drinking water standards, including for radium, a carcinogen.

Part 3: Too poor for clean running water?

Polluted well water has been a problem in rural Charleston Park for decades. Clean drinking water is not a legal right in the United States. Should it be?

Part 4: How racism contributed to Charleston Park's drinking water problems

Given Lee County’s segregated history, the situation begs the question: Has racism played a role? Carrie Spearman doesn’t think so. Others residents say maybe.

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21-year wait for clean water comes to an end for Charleston Park family

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Reporters discuss water quality, environmental contamination on WGCU

The News-Press reporters Patricia Borns and Janine Zeitlin joined WGCU reporter Jessica Meszaros on the radio to discuss the health of our environment.

Two tons of donated water pour into Lee community

More than two tons of bottled water poured into Charleston Park thanks to donations from the local nonprofit outreach group Blankets & Blessings.

Lee County, health department to offer free water testing to Charleston Park homes

Lee County and health department officials plan to offer free water testing to “as many homes as possible” in rural Charleston Park.

Group's wish: Clean drinking water for Christmas in Charleston Park

The hope is to provide a filter and an under-the-sink reverse osmosis system to one or two families by Christmas and gradually expand outreach in the neighborhood of about 200 residents bordered by orange groves.

Following report on well conditions, reader starts petition to bring 'clean water' to Charleston Park

A News-Press reader started a petition to ask Lee County commissioners “to find a way to bring clean water to Charleston Park.” 

For early settlers, Charleston Park meant freedom

Established in 1926, Charleston Park became a refuge for black farm workers.  

What's in your well water?

If your water comes from a private well, it's on you to make sure it's clean. 


Local water treatment provider says Charleston Park, Florida has the worst well water conditions he has seen in his career. Andrew West and Janine Zeitlin/


Video: The wait ends

Charleston Park: A 21-year wait for clean water comes to an end

Explainer: What could be in your well water?

These are the top 6 causes of outbreaks in private wells. 

Timeline: Decades of dirty drinking water

Dirty drinking water in Charleston Park has been on the radar of government agencies for at least three decades. Solutions have been stymied by the lack of money, will, and obligation to ensure clean water from private wells.

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