Model from USF researchers forecasts fate of Piney Point wastewater
April 15, 2021 - A computer model initially developed by the University of South Florida College of Marine Science to track red tide and ocean currents has quickly been adapted and is now being used to support the efforts to understand the transport, transformation and fate of contaminants in wastewater released into Tampa Bay from the retired Piney Point fertilizer plant. This ocean circulation model, along with the larger scale West Florida Coastal Ocean Model, are used to track red tides based on the currents driven by winds, tides and deeper ocean forcing. These two models were immediately modified to forecast the dispersal of effluent water and its constituents released from Piney Point. The results are being used to help guide interdisciplinary sampling efforts by a USF team, agency personnel and others in gathering on-the-ground field data to assess the impacts of the spill.