Florida’s Wastewater Calls for Environmental Action


Photographs courtesy of patch.com

In the wake of an environmental call to action, Florida has confronted an issue that many have warned officials about. On April 4, Manatee County, a Floridian territory, declared a state of emergency. Following several press releases, the county revealed that a wastewater reservoir could soon be the cause of a damaging flood. Upon the release of this information, Manatee County quickly encouraged the evacuation of residents within proximity to the reservoir. To impasse travel throughout the location, road closures were also swiftly administered. Given the heightened restrictions around the pond, residents and government officials alike are concerned for the welfare of the land and homes left behind. As circumstances escalate, the severity of Florida’s wastewater draws mass attention to the pitfalls of traditional environmental tampering.

Piney Point, known for contamination in Manatee County, has recurrently been a substantial issue for Florida locals. With longstanding history as a phosphate mine, the reservoir contributes to mass pollution within the area. As former state officials approved of such contamination, Piney Point also operated as a fertilizer plant. Continuous Piney Point pollutants catalyze inordinate health concerns in the region, calling for imminent action. With a multitude of concerns voiced about health matters and possible leaks, Manatee Committee officials devise possible plans of reversal. The steady issues lead on by Piney Point have been known by the county for over a month. In March of this year, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection planned on emptying the reservoir.

Within a month, matters only worsened. Advanced movement in the evacuation of residents only intensified the gravity of the situation. After declaring a state of emergency, the withstanding plan of draining the reservoir came into effect. A crisis team was called to the site on Apr. 4. Upon the team’s arrival, water vacuums were immediately put to use, draining over one hundred million gallons of water. The prompt efforts of the team contained the potential of a disastrous, “twenty-foot tall” flood.

Polluting activities at Piney Point have called for termination. Despite announcing that Piney Point no longer poses a threat, Manatee County’s close encounter could be one of many. The acts that led up to the event emphasize the long-lasting effects of pollutants and the catastrophes that can follow soon after. The occurrence speaks to the need for environmental rekindling, finding preventative solutions before mass destruction. Such high concentrations of phosphate located in Piney Point curate lasting effects, not only in people, but sea life and vegetation.