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Water-Related News

Piney Point: Here’s how to read water quality results

Samples are being taken from points across the bay and near the discharge point in Port Manatee to determine any changes in baseline water quality. PALMETTO — Officials appear to have avoided a "catastrophic" collapse of the leaking Piney Point reservoir by pumping hundreds of millions of gallons of nutrient-rich wastewater into Tampa Bay.

Now scientists and environmentalists are closely watching to determine what kind of environmental impact that discharge will have on sea life in the Bay.

Samples are being taken regularly from areas across Tampa Bay and near where the wastewater was being pumped into Port Manatee to give officials a baseline for comparison. Those sampling results are being updated regularly by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on this website.

FDEP is collaborating with Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program to collect the samples from 11 different locations daily, monitoring for salinity, nutrient levels, radionuclides and other variables, according to the site.

Mark Luther, director of the USF Center for Maritime and Port Studies, explained the significance of some of the measures being tracked.