Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican, toured the area by helicopter Monday and said federal resources

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[ Officials: 2nd breach concern in Florida phosphate reservoir ]
A drone discovered a possible second breach in a large Florida wastewater reservoir as more pumps were headed to the site to prevent a catastrophic flood, officials said Monday. U.S. Rep.

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U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican, toured the area by helicopter Monday and said federal resources were committed to assisting the effort to control the 77-acre (33-hectare) Piney Point reservoir in Manatee County, just south of the Tampa Bay area.

Among those are the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers, Buchanan said at a news conference.

‘I think we are making some progress,’ Buchanan said. ‘This is something that has been going on too long. Now, I think everybody is focused on this.’

Fears of a complete breach at an old phosphate plant led authorities to evacuate more than 300 homes, close portions of a major highway and move several hundred jail inmates nearby to a second floor of the facility.

Publisher: SFGATE
Date: 2021-04-06 07:28:23
Author: By CURT ANDERSON Associated Press
Twitter: @SFGate
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Officials: 2nd breach concern in Florida phosphate reservoir

Melissa Fitzsimmons lives with her husband and 19-month-old daughter in Palmetto, Florida, on the edge of the evacuation zone. Fitzsimmons said that for the past four days she has been terrified since she found out about the leak. While her house is on a hill and may not be directly affected by the water if the leak continues to grow, Fitzsimmons said her family is preparing for the worst.

‘Within 24 hours it escalated to like a catastrophic evacuation, and we really didn’t know anything until we saw that there was an evacuation and then suddenly an evacuation within the block of our house,’ Fitzsimmons said. ‘We’re not in the full on evacuation zone so we didn’t make the decision to leave, but we are certainly ready to go, I would say within like a 10-second notice, we can be out the door.’

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Drone investigates Florida wastewater pond

After a drone discovered a possible second breach in a large Florida wastewater reservoir, the state Department of Environmental Protection said late Monday there was only one confirmed breach.

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Scott Hopes, the Manatee County administrator, said the additional pumps should increase the capacity for a controlled release of the water from about 35 million gallons (about a 132 million liters) a day to between 75 million and 100 million gallons a day.

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The Florida Department of Environmental Protection says the water in the pond is primarily salt water mixed with wastewater and storm water. It has elevated levels of phosphorous and nitrogen and is acidic, but not expected to be toxic, the agency says.

Date: AAC9C18F70AC386BC4DCF4DDF9BF1786
Author: Curt Anderson
Twitter: @SunSentinel
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Possible Second Breach at Florida Reservoir Is Investigated and Ruled Out

Officials in Florida on Monday investigated and ruled out the possibility of a second breach in a leaking reservoir south of Tampa that was holding nearly 300 million gallons of wastewater.

Manatee County officials said they hoped to accelerate the rate at which they were pumping water from the reservoir, part of a system of ponds connected to a former phosphate mine in Piney Point, Fla.

Jacob Saur, the Manatee County public safety director, said an infrared drone had identified signs overnight that could indicate a second breach at the reservoir.

The discovery prompted an engineering team at the site to evacuate, but the team had returned by Monday afternoon to investigate, Mr. Saur said at a news conference.

Date: 2021-04-05T19:59:03.000Z
Author: The authorities said more pumps were expected to be used in the hopes of doubling the volume of water being removed to up to 100 million gallons a day
Twitter: @nytimes
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Piney Point: Visual explainer of wastewater leak in Florida reservoir

Florida workers are pumping millions of gallons of wastewater containing phosphorus and nitrogen from a leaking reservoir into Tampa Bay to prevent a larger breach that could flood the surrounding area.

Manatee County officials said the reservoir could rupture’and send out millions of gallons of water in a wall 20 feet high, The Associated Press reported.

The 77-acre reservoir held about 480 million gallons of water containing chemicals and other waste from Piney Point, a former fertilizer processing plant that closed in 2001. About 300 million gallons remain.

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Piney Point Leak Prompts Evacuations And Environmental Concerns

A leak at the reservoir at Piney Point, an old phosphate plant in Manatee County, Fla., as shown in an aerial photo on Saturday, has prompted evacuations, environmental concerns and threats of a full-fledged breach. Drone Base/Reuters hide caption

Emergency crews in Manatee County, Fla., are using pumps and vacuum trucks to drain a leaking wastewater reservoir in an effort to prevent a full-fledged breach that officials said could unleash a “20-foot wall of water.”

The leak at Piney Point ‘ a long-abandoned phosphate plant in the Tampa Bay area ‘ was first discovered last month, and workers are removing millions of gallons of water from the reservoir each day to reduce pressure on its liner. Concerns over a potential breach prompted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency Saturday for Manatee County, where more than 300 homes and businesses have been ordered to evacuate.

Date: 2021-04-05
Twitter: @NPR
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