Massive sinkhole drains contaminated water into Floridan aquifer

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A massive sinkhole on top of a Mosaic gypsum stack near Mulberry allowed   millions of gallons of contaminated water to flow into the Floridan Aquifer.

Eagle 8 flew over the huge chasm in the earth and spotted a cascading waterfall in the middle of what looks like a moonscape. The is happening in the New Wales plant off Highway 640, south of Mulberry.

The sinkhole opened up almost three weeks ago. Since then, about 215 million gallons of contaminated water have drained into the aquifer. The sinkhole is about 40 feet across. It’s depth is unknown.

It sits right in the middle of a massive gypsum stack. Gypsum comes out of the plant after the company produces phosphate fertilizers and animal feed ingredients.

On Aug. 27 workers monitoring water levels discovered a drop. “When it was first noticed, we installed pumping systems to move water out of that compartment on the gypsum stack, to recover the water,” said David Jellerson, Mosaic’s director of environment and phosphate projects.

The water is contaminated with phosphoric acid and is slightly radioactive. Not all of it is being caught by pumps.

You wouldn’t want to drink it, but so far, Mosaic engineers don’t believe the water is making it to private wells.

Read more http://wfla.com/2016/09/15/contaminated-water-flows-into-floridan-aquifer-after-sinkhole-opens-at-mosaic-facility/

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