The authorities of Florida, United States, have begun the evacuation of hundreds of residents of the area before the imminent rupture of the reservoir that stores millions of liters of wastewater and fertilizer remains.
Manatee County have declared a state of emergency in the face of the imminent collapse of a toxic sewage reservoir.
The large man-made pond located in an industrial area of Piney Point, has remained abandoned since 2001, and contains approximately billions of liters of water mixed with waste products from the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers.
Authorities fear that the surrounding area could quickly flood after detecting a break in one of the walls.
Officials used stones and other materials to try to plug the hole from Friday until Saturday, but the attempts were unsuccessful.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency to secure the necessary resources to help address the problem.
Emergency services have intensified evacuations, alerting more than 300 households to immediately evacuate the danger zone. “The collapse of the Piney Point Stack is imminent. Get out now, ”the alert indicated.
For his part, Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes stated that the main concern is that water will flood the area, which is mostly agricultural and sparsely populated.
“We are talking about the possibility of some 2.3 billion liters leaving the pond in a matter of seconds and minutes and flooding the surrounding area,” he said.
Because the pond could contain potential “radioactive” pollutants and other “toxic chemicals”, concerns of an environmental catastrophe have also been raised.
However, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection stated that the wastewater is “slightly acidic, but not to a worrying level.”
Meanwhile, teams of workers have been laying out dump paths and pumping thousands of gallons per minute at the site to reduce the impact should the dam collapse. However, pumping the entire pond would take 10-12 days.
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