Tampa Bay Discharge Slowed says Florida DEP

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Tampa Bay Discharge Slowed says Florida DEP

There have been news reports of a second area of seepage from the east wall of the NGS-South compartment at Piney Point. These reports are unsubstantiated. A technical working group, including engineers and dam safety specialists from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM), the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the Army Corps of Engineers and additional third-party engineers, was on-site today evaluating conditions and determined the site was safe to continue work. 

Key status updates and response activities: 

  • The department continues to monitor the one identified area where there is concentrated seepage from the east wall of the NGS-South compartment. The water from this seepage remains contained onsite in the site’s lined stormwater management.
  • The uncontrolled discharge to Piney Point Creek has ceased.
  • Controlled discharges from NGS-South compartment to Port Manatee are ongoing to reduce the volume in order to reduce pressure and stabilize the system.
  • In addition to the controlled discharge to Port Manatee, the DEM has also deployed at least 26 pumps for use of water removal from the NGS-South compartment and other water management activities at the site. They have also deployed 10 vacuum trucks.
  • More than 35 million gallons per day are being removed from the NGS-South compartment through these combined water activities.
  • DEP has collaborated with Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, to identify additional sampling locations around Port Manatee and the adjacent coastline. An additional five sampling locations have been added. Beginning today, that makes a total of 11 locations that will be monitored daily by the department. This monitoring includes sampling to determine changes in salinity, dissolved oxygen, clarity, nutrient levels, turbidity, radionuclides and other variables that will determine any changes in baseline water quality status in this area. The counties will be sampling additional separate site locations. To date results have been received for dissolved oxygen, salinity and pH, all of which meet water quality standards. Additional water quality information, including additional parameters, will be published here as it is available in the coming days.
  • Department staff went out to the site today to collect samples to obtain the latest water quality information on the water in the NGS-South compartment, including radiologicals. All water quality information concludes that this water is NOT radioactive. These results will be published here as soon as available.
  • The department is also working to deploy innovative technologies to remove nutrients from the water in NGS-South compartment prior to discharge and that could be implemented to prevent or minimize algal blooms in Port Manatee and surrounding areas.

Residents can find the latest information on the status of the site and response activities at ProtectingFloridaTogether.gov/PineyPointUpdate.

For information on public safety and evacuation guidance in this area, please visit MyManatee.org.