Piney Point: Emergency crews try to plug Florida toxic wastewater leak - Happy Boss

Happy Boss

Monday, 5 April 2021

Piney Point: Emergency crews try to plug Florida toxic wastewater leak

the leak was discoveredat at the reservoir at piney point

Emergency crews in Florida have been working to prevent a "catastrophic" flood after a leak was found in a large reservoir of toxic wastewater.

More than 300 homes near Tampa Bay have been evacuated, and a highway near the Piney Point reservoir has been closed.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Saturday.

On Sunday, he said the water was "primarily saltwater" from a dredging project mixed with "legacy process water and storm water runoff".

He added that the water was not radioactive, as had been feared, and that the priority was to prevent a "real catastrophic flood situation".

Officials said the 77-acre (31-hectare) reservoir holds millions of gallons of water containing phosphorus and nitrogen from an old phosphate plant.

governor ron desantis declared a state of emergency on sunday

The pond where the leak was found is in a stack of phosphogypsum, a radioactive waste product from the manufacture of fertiliser.

Attempts to repair the leak late on Friday, by plugging the hole with rocks and other materials, were unsuccessful.

Declaring a state of emergency allowed funds to be released to send more pumps and cranes to the area.

On Sunday, Mr DeSantis said emergency workers - assisted by the Florida National Guard - were pumping water out of the pond at a rate of 33 million gallons a day and discharging it into the nearby Tampa Bay.

Other workers have been charting the path to control the flow of the water and more pumps are being deployed to the region.

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