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USF Group of Researchers To Test Tampa Bay Waters Close Piney Point

The evacuation order homes in the area has also been raised and the streets are back open.
The attention has shifted into trying to figure out the environmental effect of all of this.
What You Want To Know
USF study team examining waters nearby Piney Point Wednesday

Evacuation order for more than 300 homes near Piney Point raised, streets reopened
Interactive map of plain water testing from Florida DEP

A team of USF scientists have been headed into Tampa Bay Wednesday morning to inspect the situation. They’re conducting research on the R/V Weatherbird II, a boat which was also used in the Deepwater Horizon petroleum spill response.
The team intends to gather water samples, sediment, and fish from the Tampa Bay and Port Manatee. When the scientists return, they will analyze the oxygen, salinity, pH, carbon and nutrients dioxide in the water.
They are trying to find any clear answers regarding what happens to water chemistry when wastewater mixes with seawater, and how do the changes in water chemistry impact marine life?
You will find more than two dozen pumps operating to push 23,000 gallons of water per minute out of the prior phosphate plant’s largest retention pond.
As of late Tuesday, more than 180 million gallons of polluted water have been emptied from the large reservoir and into Port Manatee, which leads to Tampa Bay.
DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein reported the agency was testing water samples and they have met quality criteria. However, the water contains elevated nutrient levels and is acidic.
The issue is this this wastewater will mix with saltwater at the bay? And people who reside by Piney Point have even deeper concerns.
“Absolute relief that our house is safe from any type of flooding or poisonous water,” said resident Suzy Ardila. “But we’re very concerned about our wells. We’ve got two wells here. We do not know how that’s going to impact our well water.”
County officials state that well water and drinking water are safe.
Lots of state agencies are on the ground by Piney Point Wednesday looking into the environmental effects.
For the time being, Manatee County commissioners have authorized a permanent option for Piney Point. They’re moving ahead together with deep well known. The water will be treated, then place into a well on county owned land. Valenstein said the procedure can take around three decades.