Residents allowed home after Tarpon Springs sinkhole

- It could take weeks to complete repairs after a sinkhole opened off Mango Street in Tarpon Springs last week, but some evacuated residents have been allowed to return home as crews continue draining the hole.

City officials told FOX 13 the sinkhole opened last week as contractors worked to repair a previous road collapse.  During the repair process, a 30-inch sewer main ruptured and the hole continued to grow.

What started as a 35-foot wide depression expanded to 100 feet, then filled with wastewater and limited water resources for nearby neighborhoods.  The depth is estimated at 50 feet. It’s unclear if recent rain prompted additional growth.

Crews completed a temporary sewer main repair and restored normal water service to impacted residents Saturday.

Right now, The hole contains several thousand gallons of wastewater and must be pumped before repairs can begin.  According to a city spokesperson, draining should be completed by Wednesday and it could take workers two weeks to fill the hole with dirt.

Officials said repairs could take two weeks on Mango Road, a section remains closed because of the sinkhole.   Geological testing and grouting cannot start until dirt settles for four weeks.

City and county officials are considering a plan to permanently move impacted utility lines.  If the plan moves forward, the utility lines would be relocated as the sinkhole is repaired.

Currently, a small water line remains out of service and crews are developing a repair plan. A city spokesperson tells FOX 13 no customers are impacted by the line, however a nearby business plaza remains under a boil water advisory.  

Initial tests found no water contaminants at Olympia Plaza. Additional tests are pending.

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