Florida DEP signals intent to pump water from Morris Bridge Sink

Hillsborough River State Park

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The Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) has asked the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for permission to pump water out of the Morris Bridge Sink near Thonotosassa; the DEP has just issued its notice of intent to allow the project to proceed. It’s part of a plan to restore water flow and ecological health to the Lower Hillsborough River, below a . But our guest on WMNF News’ MidPoint says there are other sources for the needed freshwater and that the financial cost and environmental risk of pumping up to 3.9 million gallons of water a day from Morris Bridge Sink.

Rich Brown is from Friends of the Hillsborough River and is also chair of the Planning Commission’s technical advisory council for the river. It makes recommendations to the River Board (which has representatives from from Temple Terrace, Tampa City Council and Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners).

Brown says thhere are also plans to pump Blue Sink, which is in Tampa, near Fowler Avenue & Florida Avenue. He says that may lead to sinkholes.

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We talked about why there is concern about how much water is flowing to the Lower Hillsborough River and what increased water flow would do to the health & ecology of the Lower Hillsborough.

We looked at all the other sources for the water besides the Morris Bridge Sink near the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve such as the Tampa Bypass Canal (which breached the Floridan Aquifer when it was created), the desalination plant and the C.W. “Bill” Young Aquifer.

During a drought in 2000 water was pumped from the Morris Bridge Sink and residential wells were damaged. A local government had to replace them.

A SWFWMD study from about 5 years ago concluded that increased pumping could create well interference.

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We also heard two listener comments about our recent shows. One commented about the show on the history of the Johns Committee, a Cold-War-era group that that cracked down on gay and lesbian state employees including professors at universities. The other left a message about our show last week where we played an excerpt from Donald Trump’s speech in Sarasota.

Listen to the full show here:

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