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Leak at wastewater pond prompts evacuations in Florida

Restoration cannot help the Everglades if the water is not clean. Photo courtesy Everglades National Park

MIAMI (AP) — Florida’s governor has declared a state of emergency after a significant leak at a large storage pond of wastewater threatened to flood roads and burst a system that stores polluted waters.

Officials in Florida were evacuating more than 300 homes and a highway Saturday in the area north of Bradenton.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection says a break was detected Friday in one of the walls of a pond holding millions of gallons of water containing phosphorus and nitrogen from an old phosphate plant.

Officials say the most pressing concern is that the water could flood the area.

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