City of Tampa's controversial plan for pumping water from sinkhole gets state permit
A controversial plan to pump water from a Tampa sinkhole to boost the flow of the Hillsborough River won unanimous support Tuesday from the board of the Southwest Florida Water Management District.
The city of Tampa’s plan calls for pumping up to 2 million gallons a day from Blue Sink, a complex of sinkholes in Sulphur Springs, then piping that water to the base of the dam on the Hillsborough River and pouring it out.
The water from Blue Sink would help replace the river flow lost when the city built the dam in 1897, creating a reservoir that provides Tampa’s drinking water. The restored freshwater flow will help hold the salinity of Tampa Bay in check, which is important for the health of the snook and other fish living there.
While neighbors of the Blue Sink fear pumping water from the sinkholes will create even more sinkholes, drain their lakes and suck private wells dry, Tampa Water Department director Brad Baird said there's nothing to worry about.