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Injection Wells Explained, As Manatee County Approves Use At Piney Point

…all of these wells are permitted through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. And they also have monitoring wells that monitor the overlying potential drinking water aquifers to ensure that there is no contamination. They also do extensive testing during construction, as well as post construction to ensure the integrity of the wells.  Greg Rawl, groundwater expert.

Greg Rawl gives no thinking person any confidence when he speaks about deep well injection.  First, that the FDEP gives a permit means little.  Look at their role in the Piney Point disaster.  Look at their silence when they knew private wells were potentially being poisoned during the 2016 sinkhole catastrophe.  Their support of industry over the environment is a well-known fact.

Secondly, monitoring wells cannot ensure any protection whatsoever.  Monitoring only tells you what is happening, it cannot prevent nor remedy.  Likewise, testing cannot ensure integrity of the wells, it can only reveal conditions, not restore or repair.

Question to Mr. Rawl:  What if the monitoring tells us the toxic water is migrating towards our drinking water in our aquifer?  What can/will you do to fix it?

It is also a fact that injection wells in Florida have failed.  There are no guarantees and if these “experts” end up poisoning our aquifer, they are incapable of fixing it.  What then?  Will these commissioners be able to vote in a solution about which they know nothing?

Read the complete article here at WUSF.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
jim.tatum@oursantaferiver.org
– A river is like a life: once taken,
it cannot be brought back © Jim Tatum


Injection Wells Explained, As Manatee County Approves Use At Piney Point


Published April 20, 2021 at 5:00 AM EDT

Deep injection well In: Injection Wells Explained, As Manatee County Approves Use At Piney Point | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe RiverA groundwater expert says treating the millions of gallons of polluted water remaining at the former phosphate plant in Manatee County could be very costly, and that pumping it down an injection well is not as uncommon or concerning as some may think.

Manatee County commissioners recently voted to use an injection well to get rid of the remaining wastewater at the Piney Point phosphate plant.

Though the water would be treated first, environmentalists have raised concerns about pumping anything into the ground that has the potential to contaminate Florida’s aquifer.

State and local leaders are looking into options after more than 200 million gallons of nutrient-rich water was recently pumped into Tampa Bay from Piney Point when a reservoir leak posed a catastrophic threat to the surrounding area.

WUSF’s Jessica Meszaros spoke to Greg Rawl, a hydrogeologist whose company is based in Fort Myers, about injection wells, their efficacy and safety.

What are injection wells?

Injection wells are used commonly in the state of Florida for disposal of excess fluid, typically from domestic wastewater treatment plants. And they’ve been widely used. There are hundreds of them all over the state. They have occasionally been used for disposal of surface water runoff, as well as for disposal of industrial waste.

And how do they work? You drop some potentially treated wastewater down this well, and then what happens? Where does it go?

It would be pumped down the well down a casing to a deep aquifer that is confined from the overlying potential drinking water aquifers.

So that means it potentially would not affect drinking water, right?

Correct, and all of these wells are permitted through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. And they also have monitoring wells that monitor the overlying potential drinking water aquifers to ensure that there is no contamination. They also do extensive testing during construction, as well as post construction to ensure the integrity of the wells….

In your opinion, is this the best way to get rid of all those millions of gallons of wastewater on Piney Point?

It is one method. Is it the best? Usually, if you can reclaim the water and reuse it without, you know, causing degradation of wherever it’s being reused, that’s your best option. And state water policy typically tends to enforce or recommend reuse. It is a viable means by which to deal with this excess fluid.

Some people are concerned about putting this wastewater into injection wells and oppose this idea. Is there reason for concern about doing this?

As long as it’s properly designed and constructed and monitored for follow-up, no.

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