Waste water reservoir leak threatens Tampa, FL

A state of emergency was declared after a leak at a waste water reservoir south of Tampa, Florida threatened to flood the area with polluted water.

The heightened threat forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes.

The leak in the containment wall of the Piney Point waste water reservoir was discovered about a week ago and has since worsened - prompting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency over concerns of the possible collapse of stacks of phosphogypsum, a waste product from manufacturing fertilizer that is radioactive.

On Sunday, DeSantis visited the area.

Authorities have been trying to drain any remaining polluted water from the property, which is owned by a company called HRK Holdings, to ease pressure on leaking containment walls to avoid a breach and flood.

Acting Manatee County administrator Scott Hopes says with two pipes, 22,000 gallons per minute are being drawn and at that rate it will take 10-12 days to drain the water in a controlled fashion "so at least this material stays on Piney Point grounds."