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Florida races to prevent wastewater pond collapse and accompanying flood

Workers in Florida are attempting to prevent a collapse of a wastewater pond and the deluge that would accompany such a failure. As a precautionary measure, authorities have closed off local portions of U.S. Highway 41, and have ordered some 316 households to evacuate. 

“What we’re looking at now is trying to prevent and respond to, if need be, a real catastrophic flood situation,” DeSantis said at a press conference on Sunday. The pond is located at Piney Point, in Manatee County, south of Tampa.

“Crews have been discharging water since the pond began leaking in March,” the Associated Press reported. “On Friday, a significant leak that was detected escalated the response and prompted the first evacuations and a declaration of a state of emergency on Saturday.”

The water being discharged is a mixture of sea water combined with “legacy process water and stormwater runoff/rainfall,” according to protectingfloridatogether.gov. “The water meets water quality standards for marine waters with the exception of pH, total phosphorus, total nitrogen and total ammonia nitrogen,” the group reports. “It is slightly acidic, but not at a level that is expected to be a concern.”

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