MANATEE COUNTY – Just 24 months after a State of Emergency was declared, due to the leakage of waters contained in Piney Point phosphogypsum stacks, Manatee County Utilities crews are poised to begin safe and secure disposal of those waters through a fully permitted injection well.
The well—safely drilled to a depth of 3,300 feet below land surface (bls)—was completed by Ft. Myers-based Youngquist Brothers, Inc., working with consultants ASRus of Tampa and Manatee County Utilities staff. By collaboratively working with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), crews were able to expedite the well work—which was completed late last year. It is anticipated that the disposal will begin next week.
“The cooperation and collaboration with the DEP have been key in getting this project fast-tracked,” said Manatee County Utilities Director Evan Pilachowski. “We are so pleased that we are to this point in the process already.”
The well will be used to safely dispose of Piney Point's process water into a confined saltwater aquifer over a half mile below the surface. That process water—which will be drained from the reservoirs atop nearby phosphogypsum stacks—will be pre-treated before injection. Work on the pre-treatment facility has been underway since earlier this year.
“We are excited to write the final chapter of this Piney Point story,” said Manatee County Commission Chair Kevin Van Ostenbridge. “The teamwork involved in this important project—from the receiver to the DEP, to the consultants and our hard-working staff—have brought this to fruition.”