HOMESTEAD — Phosphorus and ammonia levels shot up dramatically in the aquifer under Biscayne Bay after Florida Power & Light Co. began pumping as much as 100 million gallons a day of freshwater to cool its Turkey Point nuclear reactors.
The revelation in a hearing Monday in Homestead near the Turkey Point site held potential implication for the 3 million people in South Florida who get their drinking water from the Biscayne Aquifer. They stretch from the residents in Boca Raton in the north down to Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
CASE President Barry White said that SFWMD and DERM officials would not allow their employees to be questioned about Turkey Point for the hearing.
The latest data shows no increase in salinity levels in the Biscayne Aquifer, but over the past decade, the cooling canals have had salinity levels as high as 90 parts per thousand and hovered mostly in the 60 parts per thousand range.
Stoddard said that the number of American crocodile nests and hatchlings in Turkey Point’s canals, touted by FPL as an ideal habitat for the reptiles, has declined.
“That’s a pretty good indication that something is amiss,” Stoddard said. “We are on the edge of really understanding what is going on here.”
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