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Sinkhole leak prompts Florida evacuation



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Florida Governor Bretonton-Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Saturday after a massive leak of sewage from a large pond threatened flooding and disrupted the sewage storage system.

Florida officials evacuated the house on Saturday and closed the highway near the large reservoir in the Tampa Bay area north of Bradenton. Residents living one mile north and half a mile south of the pond were alerted via text messages that they would leave the area immediately because the collapse was “imminent.”

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said Friday that a crack was found in a wall of a 77-acre pond that has a depth of 25 feet and can hold one million gallons of water containing phosphorus and phosphorus from an old phosphate factory. nitrogen.

Officials brought rocks and materials to plug the hole in the pond from Friday night to Saturday, but the attempt was unsuccessful.

Manatee County Chief Executive Scott Hopes said at a press conference on Saturday that the most urgent concern is that water might flood the area, but fortunately, the population density there is very low.

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Hopps said: “We are talking about the potential to leave the retention pond and swim around 600 million gallons in the surrounding area in a matter of seconds and minutes.”

Workers have pumped thousands of gallons of water every minute at the site to prevent lower production if the pond ruptures. It takes 10 to 12 days to pump the entire pond. Others have been trying to map paths to control how water flows from the pond to Tampa Bay.

DeSantis declared a state of emergency and will allocate more resources for response and recovery. Owner HRK Holdings did not respond to a request for comment on Saturday.

The pond where the leak was found is located in the ancient Piney Point phosphate mine, in a pile of phosphogypsum, a waste product from the production of radioactive fertilizers. It contains a small amount of naturally occurring radium and uranium, and the chimney also releases a high concentration of gas.

Hopps said that if the pond collapses, it could destabilize the walls in other areas of the factory.

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“The pond is basically salt water. Yesterday we saw ducks and birds swimming there. It maintains wildlife. He said that the other two ponds are not like this.” He added that the wastewater in some other ponds needs to be treated. , To reduce ammonium content and other substances.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (Nikki Fried) urged the governor to convene an emergency meeting of the state cabinet to discuss a plan in a letter, adding that the property has had similar leaks in the past.

Fried said: “The emergency evacuation of residents, the breakdown of families during the Easter weekend, and the potential environmental disaster all require the attention and action of elected leaders across the state of Florida.”

In 2016, after a huge sinkhole was opened in the pond of the phosphogypsum pile, more than 200 million gallons of contaminated wastewater from another fertilizer plant in central Florida leaked into the state’s main aquifer.

In the United States, there are at least 70 gypsum piles, while in Florida there are about 27, mainly in the Midwestern region of Florida. The waste water stored in the gypsum pile cannot be seen from the ground because the pile surrounding the structure can be as high as 500 feet.


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