County to test for E. coli in residents’ water near massive Pasco sinkhole

LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) — County officials on Monday will test the water used by people who live near a huge sinkhole that opened up in a Land O’ Lakes neighborhood on Friday morning.

The massive sinkhole swallowed two homes in Pasco County on Friday.

County officials said Sunday they are still carefully watching the sinkhole that remains about 50-feet deep and 225-feet across.

Assistant County Administrator for Public Safety Kevin Guthrie did say the water level in the sinkhole went down about 18 inches overnight.  It hasn’t moved for nearly 40 hours as of 6 pm Sunday night.

He and other county officials are now preparing for the recovery phase which includes getting the sinkhole cleaned out. Guthrie says those efforts will most likely not start until Tuesday or Wednesday.  Duke Energy arrived to the neighborhood Sunday to reset a power pole on one side of the sinkhole.

Emergency officials will collect water samples from residents near the sinkhole Monday, July 17 to test for E.coli and other potential contaminants. Guthrie says he is 100 percent confident there will not be contaminants, but says the county wants to help put concerned residents’ minds at ease. Twenty random samples will be taken throughout the neighborhood affected by the sinkhole.  Other residents who want to have their water tested may do so through the Pasco County Environmental Lab for a $7 fee.

For information on pricing and who to contact, click here.

Residents concerned about the quality of their well water should click here for more information. 

Pasco County Commissioner Kathryn Starkey will visit the sinkhole site at 9 am Monday and is expected to make an announcement on how citizens can help those impacted by the sinkhole.

Recovery and cleanup efforts are expected to begin on either Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

Public safety is also starting to work with insurance companies and a county attorney to help figure out the responsibilities for the damages.

Eleven homes total were affected by the sinkhole on Friday. Two of those homes were destroyed.

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