Tampa sinkhole causes water scare at local university

Given the frequency of sinkholes in the Sunshine State, many Florida residents are well aware of the damage these craters can cause – everything from ruined landscaping to entire homes being swallowed up. However, a recent sinkhole scare at a local Tampa university demonstrated yet another potential hazard that may be linked to Florida sinkholes; namely, possible water contamination.

USF boil water order

According to the University of South Florida’s (USF) newspaper – The Oracle – a boil water notice was recently issued after university officials received several complaints of “murky water.” The University was worried that the water clarity complaints may have been related to a sinkhole that was found earlier in the day near the USF Federal Credit Union, according to a university spokeswoman.

During the precautionary period, several on-campus dining locations only served bottled water, according to The Oracle. Thankfully, the boil water order was lifted two days later when bacteriological tests verified that the water on campus was in fact safe to drink, although the university spokeswoman has stated the sinkhole itself is still being evaluated.

Potential Florida sinkhole damage

Luckily, the recent Tampa sinkhole had relatively little impact of the lives of USF students, however, Florida homeowners who have to deal with sinkholes are often not nearly as lucky.

For instance, sinkholes can cause the foundations of Florida homes to break and crack. In addition, the shifting of earth caused by sinkholes can lead to sloping floors and cracks around doors and windows. And even if the homeowner is fortunate enough to have his or her home spared from damage, sinkholes can still wreak havoc on landscaping by causing fences and trees to slant – in some cases exposing tree roots in the process.

Unfortunately, the costs associated with repairing many types of sinkhole damage can quickly skyrocket – easily adding up to tens of thousands of dollars before long. But, even those homeowners with the forethought to obtain sinkhole insurance coverage can easily suffer headaches when attempting to file their insurance claims.

For instance, in an effort to settle claims more cheaply, or deny them altogether, insurance companies may attempt to argue that the damage to the home is simply cosmetic in nature and not actually “structural.”

Consequently, if is often advisable to seek the assistance of an experienced sinkhole insurance claim attorney if your insurance company is giving you the run-around following sinkhole damage to your home. A knowledgeable attorney can help file your claim and ensure your rights under the insurance policy are protected.