Authorities said a team of engineers decided Monday evening that the anomaly discovered in a septic tank at a former phosphate plant in Florida, which threatens to rupture and cause massive flooding, was not a second crack.
The Florida Environmental Protection Agency said federal and local engineers “visited the site to assess conditions and decided the site was safe enough to continue working.”
“An infrared drone identified a signature that could point to a second crack” in the Pine Point reservoir, Jake Sauer, director of public safety in Manate County, on the west coast of this country, told reporters hours earlier.
The plastic coating of this tank, which contains more than a million cubic meters of sewage, mainly from cliffs or rainwater, began to leak several days ago, increasing the risk of a potential environmental disaster.
Experts continued to pump water from the reservoir on Monday in order to reduce the pressure there, at a rate of more than 130,000 cubic meters per day.
A state of emergency has been declared in order to allocate new funds to tackle this potential crisis at the Piney Point Industrial Site, a former manufacturer of phosphates, a compound used in the production of fertilizers.
Polluted water is dumped into Tampa Bay to prevent the area from flooding, although this solution threatens a fragile ecosystem on which marine life as well as tourism depend.
The Republican-elect in Florida, Verne Buchanan, said he was “extremely concerned” and called on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to intervene.
Residents of more than 300 nearby homes have been ordered to vacate the area south of the large city of Tampa.
The prisoners were also transported from the county jail by bus to an unknown location, while others were transported to a higher floor of the facility.
Governor Ron DeSantes confirmed that this water is “non-radioactive”, stressing that it has been tested before evacuating and that it consists mainly of “salt water”.