Leak at wastewater pond prompts evacuations in Florida

National News

This aerial photo taken from an airplane shows a reservoir near the old Piney Point phosphate mine, Saturday, April 3, 2021 in Bradenton, Fla. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Saturday after a significant leak at a large pond of wastewater threatened to flood roads and burst a system that stores polluted waters. The pond where the leak was discovered is at the old Piney Point phosphate mine, sitting in a stack of phosphogypsum, a waste product from manufacturing fertilizer that is radioactive. (Tiffany Tompkins/The Bradenton Herald via AP)

MIAMI (AP) — Florida’s governor has declared a state of emergency after a significant leak at a large storage pond of wastewater threatened to flood roads and burst a system that stores polluted waters.

Officials in Florida were evacuating more than 300 homes and a highway Saturday in the area north of Bradenton.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection says a break was detected Friday in one of the walls of a pond holding millions of gallons of water containing phosphorus and nitrogen from an old phosphate plant.

Officials say the most pressing concern is that the water could flood the area.

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