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DEP releases rainwater from Piney Point before shut-down operations begin

Piney Point rain water.png
Posted at 9:44 AM, Aug 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-16 09:45:04-04

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. — Right now contractors are working with Piney Point managers and the DEP to drain rainwater from Piney Point.

This week more than four million gallons of rainwater that collected on top of the lining of the old south gypsum stack is being drained into the Bay before crews can get into the stack to seal it.

Herb Donica is the court-appointed receiver and manages the Piney Point site. He said the water that is being drained off the stack is safe to go into Tampa Bay.

"Both the DEP and our crew tested it in independent labs, and the result came in almost identical. It's just rainwater. It will go out to the Bay, and then that stack will be dry so the crew can get in there, and they’re going to put a new liner over it and then two feet of topsoil," said Donica. "It's a big deal. It's the smallest of the four stack systems, but it's going to showcase what it's going to look like going forward."

Manatee County is currently drilling an injection well so the contaminated water still in the other gypsum stacks can be treated and then injected 3,600 feet underground. The expected Piney Point closure completion date is December of 2024.