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Big Bend project spills 14,000 gallons of wastewater into Hillsborough Bay

Tampa Bay Water has several operations on the grounds of the Tampa Electric Big Bend plant. SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times

Tampa Bay Water has several operations on the grounds of the Tampa Electric Big Bend plant. SKIP O'ROURKE | Times
Published Oct. 14, 2016

A Tampa Bay Water project near Tampa Electric Co.'s Big Bend power station damaged a domestic wastewater line, spilling about 14,400 gallons of groundwater and diluted wastewater into Hillsborough Bay.

The spill was reported by Tampa Electric because Tampa Bay Water is leasing space at the power station from the utility. Tampa Electric said it anticipates no potential risk to the public health, safety or welfare. The spill was discovered midafternoon Thursday after about five days.

Tampa Bay Water is installing a dewatering well at the site, a shallow well intended to lower the water table in a very localized area in order to facilitate construction.

The report of the spill comes after Gov. Rick Scott issued an emergency rule last month requiring polluters to notify the Florida Department of Environmental protection, local governments and the public of pollution incidents.

Scott's action came after a sinkhole beneath a Mosaic Corp. gypsum stock in Mulberry spilled 215 million gallons of radioactive water into the aquifer on Aug. 27.