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Efforts Continue To Reduce Nutrients From Piney Point Wastewater

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has brought in two technology companies to try to remove — or reduce — the levels of nutrients from the wastewater at the Piney point phosphate plant in Manatee County before it reaches Tampa Bay.

In a news release Wednesday, officials said more than 38 million gallons of wastewater a day are being removed from the pond by pumps and other methods.

So far, about 173 million gallons have been discharged into the bay, with about 258 million gallons still left in the reservoir, according to the release.

The amount leaking from the pond has been reduced, but officials have yet to precisely locate the leak, even after a submersible vehicle was brought in Wednesday.

The most recent testing on water samples shows what officials call elevated levels of phosphorous in Port Manatee.

In addition, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has not found any red tide algae in the area, but signs of a bloom might not be visible for weeks.

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