Discharges of untreated Piney Point wastewater stopped, DEP says

Manatee County

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – It appears the Piney Point disaster is finally under control following the announcement by state regulators announcing they have stopped the dumping of untreated wastewater into Tampa Bay at Port Manatee.

“All discharges of untreated water to Port Manatee are currently ceased,” the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said in a press release.

Evacuated residents have since returned to their homes, but a wide array of environmental and economic concerns about the impact on the bay area remain.

Despite reduced risk for a total collapse of the stack and lifted evacuation orders, tens of millions of gallons of nutrient-rich water continue to flow out into Tampa Bay daily. To date, DEP approximately 215 million gallons of polluted water have been discharged to the port through a controlled release.

The DEP says there are 223 million gallons that remain in the containment pond. 

Local fisherman told 8 On Your Side they’ve already started noticing changes in the waters surrounding Port Manatee.

DEP said Friday that the agency tasked two technology companies to “initiate nutrient reduction and removal treatments from water on-site prior to discharging to Port Manatee.”

Sampling efforts and monitoring are ongoing. There are no reported fish kills in the area.  

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