Piney Point Leak Latest: 306 Million Gallons of Water Remain from the Reservoir
MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — According to officials, we’re approximately 306 million gallons of water left in the Piney Point reservoir, down from 480 million gallons. Twenty pumps have been set up to the site in order to transfer the water into surrounding regions. With additional pumps in route, officials hope to double the quantity they could pump out per day, which will be about 70 million gallons per day.
Officials say this will relieve strain on the breach, preventing a whole failure. If this would happen, officials said the surrounding regions could see a 20 foot wall of water.
The county is currently running hourly flyovers of this site with drone cameras to check on things.
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has moved 345 inmates into an undisclosed site. Approximately 720 inmates still remain in the centre and have been moved into the upper heights of this jail.
As of Monday morning, officials are saying no news is good news, and with the controlled release of their water, they all hope to be in a greater place from Tuesday.
7:34 a.m. UPDATE:
The Manatee County School District has suspended all school bus transport within the Piney Point Evacuation Zone to the duration of the evacuation order.
Here is the listing of colleges and bus stops affected:
Bud Rhoden Rd & 100th Ct E
Moccasin Wallow Rd & 27th Ave E
Artisan Lakes Parkway & Mabry Dr (potentially)
Palm View K-8
100 Ct E & Bud Rhoden Rd
Moccasin Wallow Rd & 27th Ave E
10351 Bud Rhoden
Buffalo Creek Middle
Lincoln Memorial Academy
Moccasin Wallow Rd & 27th Ave E
7:10 p.m. UPDATE:
The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office announced Sunday evening that hundreds of prison inmates will be moved to an undisclosed place in response to the Piney Point phosphate plant retention pond leak.
A total of 345 inmates will be moved to be able to free up bed room on the upper level of the prison, MCSO public info officer Randy Warren said in an email.
“For security purposes, we aren’t providing details at the moment about the transport of inmates,” he explained. “Sheriff Rick Wells and staff remain in constant communication with officials to the circumstance. We’re aren’t expecting more than a foot of water jail property, in the worst case situation.”
The release did not say how long officials expected the inmates’ move to survive.
Approximately 720 inmates will remain in the prison following the 345 are moved.
2 p.m. UPDATE: Controlled waste water release is ongoing Sunday afternoon in the Piney Point phosphate plant, based on Manatee County officials. Manatee County Commission Chairman Vanessa Baugh stated the threat remains but officials are more comfortable Sunday with care efforts than 24 hours earlier.
Added pumps are being put up and expected to make a big difference in the threat of a complete breach of their resevrvoir.
Additionally, Baugh stressed there are not any dangers to drinking water in the area.
For the latest information about the Piney Point center, visit mymanatee.org/pineypoint.
Following a trip by air of this Piney Point phosphate site Easter afternoon, Gov. Ron DeSantis stressed that job is being done to control the wastewater discharge, ecological concerns are being addressed along with a permanent solution to the issue will be pursued.
Engineering teams and environmental and state officials continue to work on the growing breach and potential collapse of a gypsum pile in the Piney Point phosphate site in Manatee County.
Check to Determine if your home is in the evacuation zone
What started as a leak that prompted 10-15 houses to be evacuated escalated on Saturday since Florida ordered more than 300 houses to be evacuated and closed off multiple roadways Saturday close to the huge reservoir north west of Bradenton. Officials have said a collapse could be”imminent”
DeSantis ordered a Condition of Emergency to Manatee County Saturday that expanded into Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
What You Want To Know
Crews continue functioning on potential collapse of gypsum pile at Piney Point center in Manatee County
Evacuations, road closures remain near Piney Point phosphogypsum stacks
More: Advice on the leak in the Florida Department of Environmental Protection
“What we are looking at today is trying to prevent and react to if need be is a true catastrophic flood situation,” DeSantis said, adding public health and safety is your top priority, in addition to minimizing any environmental impacts.
The company said an additional 20 pumps along with 10 vacuums are being brought into keep in the controlled release of wastewater, roughly 35 million gallons per day. This really is crucial to prevent a complete breach of this leaking Piney Point reservoir.
He encouraged citizens to follow evacuation orders in the regions influenced by the ongoing leak and said residents can call 311 for info, follow @ManateeGov on Twitter or visit protectingfloridatogether.gov/PineyPoint for updates.
U.S. 41 remains closed from Buckeye Road into Moccasin Wallow Road.
David Allen has lived in the polluted area since 2013.
“I did not know that has been not there,” he explained. “nobody explained I lived only a mile from a hazardous waste site.”
Allen worries the contamination will put he along with his family in danger.
“I am drinking the water, my entire family is drinking the water, my animals are drinking this water,” he explained. “I need to learn what’s inside.”
While officials have said the water out of the influenced retention pond meets environmental criteria — and is not radioactive — Allen said he’s still concerned that the water might be more harmful they are letting on.
“I know they said that specific pond is not the one who has the contaminants inside,” he explained. “How do we know that? There are three or four contaminant areas — how do we now cross contamination has not happened ?”
Along with the health concerns which Allen has regarding the circumstance, he said the leak will damage his pocket also.
“I live here, not because of my property worth, but that I dwell on a high-value home,” he explained. “Now, with this, who’s going to want to purchase if I promote it? My house levels will return.”
Acting Manatee County Administrator Dr. Scott Hopes reported the ongoing shuttle and pumping is to prevent a complete breach.
“If we need to have a complete breach….in totality, in a period of seconds, the models, for in under an hour, are as high as a 20-foot wall of water,” Hopes said.
Water quality is being monitored, DeSantis said, adding the waste water is not radioactive. He explained the principal concerns with all the discharged water is that the nutrients, chiefly with phosphorus and nitrogen.
The Senate added that the centre operator HRK Holdings will be held accountable for any pile failure and permanent alternatives to this centre’s ongoing problems are a priority.
Officials brought in stones and materials to plug the gap in the pond late Friday into Saturday, but the attempt was unsuccessful.
There are more than 800 million gallons of toxic waste water over the Piney Point site. The issue remains that a breach will spill millions of these poisonous water into the surrounding area.
The water is really a byproduct of creation of fertilizer out of phosphate rock. It’s acidic and the stacks have been a source of controversy among environmentalists.
“That is nothing which should come as surprise to officials which have been tracking this phosphogypsum stack,” said Jaclyn Lopez, Florida Director of the Center for Biological Diversity. “It has had a string and background of repeated leaks and breaches and discharges into Tampa Bay and this latest is the very alarming since it’s caused this people opinion that has forced the evacuation and the Senate to declare a state of emergency.”
Employees have been pumping thousands of liters per minute in the site in order to bring down the volume in case the pond pops. Pumping the whole pond would take 10 to 12 days. Others have been working to chart the road to control the way the water flows from the pond into the Tampa Bay.
Besides the local and state officials, the EPA, the National Guard and the Red Cross all have officers on site.