Water Resources Engineering (WRE) connects engineering hydrology and hydraulics with global, economic, environmental, and societal issues. Our student Zhenyu Hong makes this connection here…

The article “Nuclear Plant Leak Threatens Drinking Water Wells in Florida” was published by New York Times on March 22nd 2016. This new relates to water resource engineer in hydrology issue of pollute water. This new is talking about a company, called “Florida power & light”, built two nuclear reactors in Turkey point to satisfy power demands in 1990. But, recent studies found that the nuclear reactors’ old cooling canal system was leaking polluted water. Since the reactors sit on the coast line, the leaking water is polluting the water body and marine ecosystem. The water sample collected around the power plant shows a higher concentration of salt, ammonia, phosphorous and tritium (Rennicks, 2016). Even though the tritium concentration is far too low to do damage to people, researchers did pay attention to it. Scientists use tritium as marker to track the flow of canal water and find out where the leaking holes are located. Evident shows that the cooling canal systems are dumping 600,000 pounds of salt into the Biscayne, which would cause many problems in the aquifer.

This WRE issue is related to regional water pollution and has adverse effects on local species, residents as well as the agriculture in Florida. However, behind the truth is the concern about how state regulations fail to enforce the law (Judge, 2016). The increasing concentration of salt, nitrogen and organic matters can result in algae bloom, which is extremely harmful for coastal water system. Additionally, there is possibility that the polluted water is used to irrigate crops and the high concentrations of salt not only hinder crops growth, but lower the quality of farm land (S. Miyamoto, 2016). However, the great thing is that the company is facing its greatest crisis due to a tiny increasing of tritium. Scientists are having a great job in monitoring coastal water system.


Figure1. The nuclear reactors in Turkey point


URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/23/us/nuclear-plant-leak-threatens-drinking-water-wells-in-florida.html?_r=1



Rennicks, J. (n.d.). New analysis confirms FPL’s Turkey Point is Polluting Biscayne Aquifer and Biscayne National Park. Retrieved May 01, 2016, from http://www.cleanenergy.org/2016/03/08/new-analysis-confirms-fpls-turkey-point-is-polluting-biscayne-aquifer-and-biscayne-national-park/


Judge: State failed to stop pollution from FPL cooling canals. (n.d.). Retrieved May 03, 2016, from http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article61864922.html


  1. Miyamoto. “Grounds Maintainance.” Landscape Irrigation with Salty Water. Web. 03 May 2016.