MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — With Tuesday night's heavy storm, the Piney Point phosphate facility gained over over 9 million gallons of stormwater in its pools.
What You Need To Know
- Piney Point has been continually pumping the facility's stormwater into the county's stormwater system
- Tampa Bay Estuary Program plans to continually test the Bay surrounding Piney Point through the end of summer
- More Manatee County headlines
“Leading up to hurricane season, we were working to get enough water out to accommodate the rainfall,” said Manatee County Administrator Dr. Scott Hopes.
Hopes says Piney Point has been continually pumping the facility's stormwater into the county's stormwater system, in an effort to prevent another leak.
“We are continually testing to make sure the only water in our stormwater system is just stormwater, not Piney Point processed water,” said Hopes.
Even though stormwater is cleaner than the water that was dumped out back in April, environmentalists say it still causes issues for the Bay.
“All storm water carries pollutants in it,” said Maya Burke, from the Tampa Bay Estuary Program.
Burke said red tide algae blooms started much earlier than expected.
“I think it’s pretty hard to pretend there's not a connection there,” Burke said.
Although algae blooms are not directly linked to Piney Point water, Burke believes it certainly contributed to the problem.
“Those nutrients fuel things that can be harmful like the red tide we are seeing,” said Burke.
The Tampa Bay Estuary Program plans to continually test the Bay surrounding Piney Point through the end of summer.