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Update Spring 2024
There are reports everywhere lately about erratic fish behavior and fish kills. Many groups and scientists are testing the waters and results aren't yet final.  Yet there continue to be local water quality problems, as evidenced by these black plumes in our back country waters.  We've asked Florida Department of Environmental protection to check into this with a simple sewage pipe pressure test.

Dear FDEP:


I'd like you to be aware of the attached video taken by a local FOLKs member. There is an easily visible black plume of water moving between the islands. This is not the first time he has witnessed this issue. The black water shown on the video is moving from Niles channel, where there is a directional bore for a large wastewater transmission pipe going under the water to cross the channel to Ramrod Key and on to Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. Members of the community say they witnessed the directional bore and that the casing was torn during the installation.


FOLKs receives frequent requests that it ask that the transmission pipe under Niles channel be tested. I'm told a simple pressure test at the surface level of both ends of the pipe would demonstrate whether the pipe is leaking. Would this be possible, please?


My name is Mike Tinnell. I have lived in the Keys since 1982 and have boated in the back country on a regular basis for at least 38 years. I am extremely familiar with the waters out here. About 5 years ago, I noticed some significant changes in the visible water quality. I started taking videos of the water quality changes, when they appeared to be increasing and persistent. The attached videos were taken by me on the dates indicated. What they show is very common out here now and I never saw it before 2015. It appears to be a type of foamy substance which sometimes is broken down into small particles, sometimes it looks like foam. I once measured the foamy plume; it was more than 4 miles long.

I don't know what this is, but it needs to be tested.                      FOLKs agrees, Thank you Mike.

We suggest playing these in "Full Screen Mode" to see the video better.

Click below to see an informative video by The Blue Paper

Regulators respond to citizen concerns...

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