Water-Related News

Pinellas County monitoring emergency at Piney Point in Manatee County

Pinellas County is closely monitoring discharges of wastewater at the Piney Point facility, a former phosphate plant in Manatee County.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a State of Emergency for Manatee, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties due to the proximity of all three counties to the facility and the threat of a reservoir collapsing. The wastewater is primarily a mixture of saltwater from the Port Manatee dredge project, legacy process water, and stormwater runoff/rainfall. Water is being pumped through a ditch system out into Tampa Bay through Port Manatee.

Pinellas County Emergency Management and Public Works are closely monitoring the situation and working with partner agencies. No warnings or advisories are in effect at this time for Pinellas beaches or inland waters. No evacuations for flooding or impacts to the drinking water are anticipated in Pinellas County. However, the pumped discharges and the potential reservoir collapse pose an environmental threat to Tampa Bay, primarily due to the addition of high concentrations of nutrients that can promote harmful algae blooms, fish kills, and other environmental damage.

Updates will be provided as warranted.