One can never be too careful while handling and dumping radioactive material. Most companies just use the easy way and dump them into the nearest water body, never caring about what its effects will be on the environment. Florida has now declared a state of emergency after officials announced that one such wastewater pond is at risk of collapsing.
The wastewater pond contains a lot of water radioactive material and could flood the area if it collapses. Governor Ron DeSantis issued the state of emergency after Officials at Manatee County Public Safety Department declared a mandatory evacuation.
The depart said in the tweet that “The evacuation notice was issued due to the imminent uncontrolled release of wastewater at Buckeye Road and Bud Rohden Road”. Any person within a half-mile radius of Piney Point was ordered to evacuate. The reservoir belongs to the former Piney Point phosphate processing plant. It contains at least 600 million gallons of wastewater with phosphogypsum.
According to Jake Saur, Manatee Director of Public Safety, “A portion of the containment wall at the leak site shifted laterally signifying that structural collapse could occur at any time”. County Administrator Scott Hopes gave more insight into the severity of the situation by saying that “We are talking about the potential of about 600 million gallons within a matter of seconds and minutes leaving that retention pool and going around the surrounding area.”
Officials have begun releasing at least 22,000 gallons of water a minute out of the reservoir and into a retention pond hoping to alleviate some stress of the containment wall. Leakage of this level could lead to the destruction of surrounding vegetation and wildlife for a few generations.
Official need to act fast and get the situation under control. Also maybe employ more strict regulations to avoid facing such problems in the first place.