USF model shows path of polluted Piney Point discharge water as it spreads around Tampa Bay

Jesse Mendoza Sarasota Herald-Tribune April 14, 2021

A computer model shows that a plume of wastewater from Piney Point has spread as far north as the Little Manatee River and St. Petersburg, and as far south as the Manatee River, as it slowly heads out toward the Gulf of Mexico.

Research teams from the University of South Florida are using a computer model that forecasts the path of nutrient-rich wastewater discharged into Tampa Bay from the former Piney Point fertilizer plant this month as they study how the polluted water is affecting marine ecosystems.

The forecast shows that a plume of the wastewater will shift back and forth along the eastern shores of middle and lower Tampa Bay, from as far north as the Cockroach Bay Aquatic Preserve and the Little Manatee River south to the northern shores of Robinson Preserve and the Manatee River. The forecast shows varying concentrations of the wastewater have entered important habitats such as Bishop Harbor and the Terra Ceia Aquatic Preserve.

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