Officials Announce a Second Breach Concern in Florida Phosphate Reservoir

by | Apr 5, 2021 | Press

Originally published by WINK News on April 5, 2021

A wastewater reservoir in Manatee County is on the verge of collapse. If the Piney Point reservoir collapses, a 20-foot wall of water is expected to flood the area. A drone discovered a possible second breach in the reservoir as more pumps were headed to the site to prevent a catastrophic flood, officials said Monday.

A breach would mostly impact the Tampa Bay area, and it’s a major concern for the people who live in the area near US-41 in Manatee County.

The wastewater holds chemical elements like nitrogen and phosphorous. If those sound familiar, it’s because those nutrients can help fuel harmful algal blooms like red tide. We’ve seen the devastating impacts of red tide firsthand in Southwest Florida with fish and other wildlife deaths along our shores.

WINK News spoke to Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani about the possibility of impacts in Southwest Florida from the Manatee County situation. He said, “A big dump of nutrient-rich water would perhaps be problematic if red tide is in the area. And we wouldn’t want to see the currents and the movement of water in the Gulf move it south near Fort Myers; that would not be good.”

Manatee County officials held a press conference Monday afternoon to give an update on the situation.

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