Residents near Pasco sinkhole urged to drink bottled water

This is what the sinkhole looked like on Tuesday.

LAND O’ LAKES, Fla. (WFLA) — Pasco County officials on Tuesday suggested that residents who live near a huge sinkhole drink bottled water until water near the area is fully tested.

Today, Pasco County officials are expecting to get the first round of water test results after a massive sinkhole opened up near Lake Padgett in Land O’ Lakes early Friday morning.

The sinkhole swallowed two homes, a boat, part of a road and a septic tank.

RELATED STORY: Videos tell story of homes destroyed by Land O’ Lakes sinkhole

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) Pasco is encouraging residents to use bottled water, especially residents within 500 feet of the sinkhole, until their drinking water is fully tested.  If you see your water become clouded or change in smell, or taste you should also take precautions by using bottled water.

County administrators tested 20 homes for E. coli out of an abundance of caution. They don’t expect to find anything unusual in the water.

“There is no evidence at this point that any wells are contaminated,” said a county spokesperson.

The testing is being conducted at the Pasco County Environmental Lab in New Port Richey.

The test results are expected by 3 p.m. today.

FDOH will be conducting additional tap water testing for 20 wells in the area of the sinkhole to test for contaminates such as metals, nitrates and arsenic.

RELATED:Sinkhole swallows 2 homes in Land O’ Lakes

As of Tuesday afternoon, the water depth of the sinkhole has decreased five feet since Friday and had dropped another 4-7 inches in the last 24 hours. Authorities say as of 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 18, 2017 there has been no significant expansion of the sinkhole since it stopped growing around 5 p.m. Friday, July 14.

Cleanup is not expected to begin until later this week.

Two families live in the two homes that were destroyed by the sinkhole. Eleven other homes have been determined to be unsafe. Residents are not allowed in those homes.

A fund has been created to help victims of the sinkhole. Learn more here. 

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