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Deep well injection now imminent at Piney Point

MANATEE COUNTY — On Tuesday, Manatee County Commissioners unanimously authorized the use of a deep injection well on county-owned property directly south of the Piney Point site across Buckeye Road. The county says that the action gives the BOCC "total control" over the well and allows the county to dictate the quality of the water before it goes into the well.

In various iterations of the deep-well solution as previously proposed, what went into the well and how much it was treated first varied and was sometimes unclear. In some cases, a private company would have looked to offset costs by accepting other wastewater from other areas. The presentation Tuesday emphasized that only water from Piney Point would be injected into the well and that the county would control the level of treatment the water underwent prior to being injected.

"The residents and business owners of North Manatee can rest assured that the water atop the stacks will be treated before it is transferred to the deep injection well and then capped to ensure no other water enters the well," Manatee County Commission Chair Vanessa Baugh said.

The cost would be absorbed by the state with the county contributing no more than the $6 million it had originally committed to a deep-well injection site. As for liability, Manatee County Attorney Bill Clague explained that as the owner of the well, the county would be liable.