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Water regulators to discuss sinkholes, dry wells from farm pumping

BROOKSVILLE — State water officials are set to discuss the sinkholes Tuesday that resulted from this month's freeze, though it's unclear they'll actually decide anything.

During the freeze, farmers sprayed millions of gallons of water on their crops to keep them from being damaged by the cold, and as a result the water level in the underground aquifer dipped lower than it had in decades.

Geologists say the dip caused some two dozen sinkholes to open up around Plant City, swallowing a mobile home, closing roads and shuttering an elementary school.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District, commonly known as Swiftmud, fielded calls from about 600 people reporting malfunctioning or dried up wells as a result of the heavy pumping from the aquifer.

The meeting of the board begins at 9 a.m. in the agency's Brooksville headquarters. Follow this link to download the meeting agenda (PDF).

CORRECTION: Swiftmud officials will meet at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010. Earlier versions of this story posted online gave an incorrect date.

Water regulators to discuss sinkholes, dry wells from farm pumping 01/25/10 [Last modified: Monday, January 25, 2010 10:52am]
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