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Water-Related News

A small leak is contained at the Piney Point phosphate plant

The leak happened after an electrical circuit breaker tripped on a facility being used to pump polluted water deep under the drinking water aquifer.

About 6,000 gallons of industrial wastewater was accidentally released from the Piney Point phosphate plant last week.

State environmental officials reported the leak happened Thursday, after electrical power was lost because of a tripped breaker switch. The accident was at a pretreatment facility used to send polluted water deep underground.

Staffers turned the power back on after about 10 minutes. A report states the discharged wastewater soaked into the ground and did not leave the plant site. The report says an investigation is being held to determine why the backup power source did not switch on.

About 270 millions of gallon of polluted water from a gypsum stack at the troubled plant is being pumped 3,000 feet below the surface.

A leak in the earthen berm in 2021 resulted in more than 200 million gallons of polluted water being released into Tampa Bay. It was blamed for triggering a red tide event that killed untold numbers of fish and marine life in the bay shortly afterward.