A Florida reservoir contaminated with radioactive wastewater could collapse ‘at any time’ and has prompted evacuations as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency on Saturday.
A significant leak at a large pond of wastewater was discovered on Friday at the old Piney Point phosphate mine in the Tampa Bay area north of Bradenton.
Waste material on the property is stored in water-covered stacks of phosphogypsum – a fertilizer waste product that is radioactive, WTSP reported.
The pond at the reservoir contains small amounts of naturally occurring radium and uranium, and the stacks can also release large concentrations of radon gas.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said the break was detected in one of the walls of a 77-acre pond that is 25 feet deep and holds millions of gallons of water containing phosphorus and nitrogen from the old phosphate plant.
However, Florida officials said in a statement that the main concern from the collapse would be flooding, calling the water being discharged ‘slightly acidic.’
Officials have ordered more than 300 homes to be evacuated after efforts to plug the hole were unsuccessful. Authorities expanded the evacuation area later on Saturday to include more homes, but said they were not planning to open shelters.
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Source: Daily Mail