A leak was discovered days ago in a Tampa Bay area sewage tank containing more than one million cubic meters of polluted water. Attempts to stop the leak have failed, resulting in massive flooding and possibly even environmental disaster.
Experts insist that the dam at the Piney Point mine could still rupture at any time. According to the latest estimates, this could lead to a wall of water about six meters high. The polluted water could also end up in Tampa Bay.
Residents of more than 300 homes in the area must be evacuated, writes the Tampa Bay Times. Alternative accommodation is also being sought for 345 inmates from a neighboring prison.
In the meantime, attempts are made to reduce the pressure on the reservoir by pumping water from the reservoir and discharging it elsewhere. With that, the danger must have passed on Tuesday.
The tank contains sewage, including phosphorus, from an old manure factory. According to the Florida Department of the Environment, if the water is relatively acidic, it is probably non-toxic. Environmental organizations doubt it. For example, too much nitrogen in the water can lead to accelerated growth of algae and therefore the death of fish.
By declaring a state of emergency, more resources can be deployed to prevent an impending environmental disaster.