Focus shifts to drinking wells following sinkhole

- Two houses, a car, boats, septic tanks and …all their contents. That’s what ended up in the 50-foot deep sinkhole that opened up near Lake Padgett in Pasco County Friday.

Officials say the sinkhole is no longer growing, but many neighbors are starting to wonder if their homes, and more specifically their wells, are still in the danger zone.

On Sunday, Pasco emergency officials assured they aren’t.

“We believe, based on talking with the health department, talking with the Department of Environmental Protection and talking with a professor from USF that we are not going to have any type of contamination in the drinking water system for these wells,” said Pasco County Emergency Management official Kevin Guthrie.

To be sure and to quell any fears about contamination, the county will test nine homes in the immediate vicinity of the sink hole on Monday. Officials say they’re primarily looking for the presence of E. coli, a bacteria found in raw sewage that can cause an array of illnesses and even death.

Officials will also test 11 more homes in the neighborhood at random to be sure contaminants in the sink hole haven’t compromised wells in the area. 

Additional residents wishing to have their water tested for E. coli or other possible contaminants can request to do so through the Pasco County Environmental Lab.  E. coli tests will be provided for a $7 fee. Click here for additional information, including prices and contact information, for the Pasco County Environmental Lab.

Many homeowners have wells in the area around the sinkhole.   The Florida Department of Health and Florida Department of Environmental Protection have information for consumers concerned about the quality of their well water here.

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