Neighbors of toxic sinkhole at Mosaic plant in Mulberry frustrated with test results

Posted at 5:20 PM, Sep 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 20:43:43-04

Results from a total of 20 private wells surrounding the Mosaic sinkhole in Mulberry have now come back with “normal” readings with the exception of radioactivity levels.

Those results take longer to process, according to the testing company, Environmental Consultants and Technology out of Tampa.

The incomplete test results gave some Mosaic neighbors even more anxiety.

“I went off the chain,” said Joyce Hunter, a 86-year-old woman who lives a couple miles from the sinkhole.

MORE | Complete Coverage of Toxic Sinkhole

“I don’t appreciate you putting it out to the news when we really haven’t had a clean bill of health yet,” she said of the testing company.

Hunter received her letter this morning showing normal results of sulfate, sodium, and fluoride.

The letter went on to say it will take an extra day or two for the radioactivity levels.

The ABC Action News I-Team reported a class action lawsuit has been filed against Mosaic on behalf of residents.

“We are more concerned about the radioactivity because a lot of things fell in that sinkhole,” she said.

Mosaic reports there have been requests water tests at more than 200 private wells around the plant and more calls are coming in daily.

ECT agreed to work through the weekend to get through as many as possible.

Meanwhile, patience is running thin with other neighbors.

“The more I called, the higher my blood pressure got,” said Janice Crumley, who literally lives a stone’s throw away from Mosaic’s property.

Crumley has been waiting since Friday for someone to come test her water.

She is still feeling bitter about being kept in the dark for weeks about the sinkhole right next door.

“We have to drink this water year after year. It could take years before that water hits us if it hasn’t already,” she said.

Crumley received her first shipment of bottled water from Mosaic late Wednesday, almost a week after crisis went public.

“Sometimes an apology is not enough,” she said of Mosaic keeping the hole a secret.

Company executives apologized for its handling of the situation on Tuesday, but they didn’t not offer an explanation for why they didn’t tell the community about the hole when they knew about at the end of August.

The Florida DEP is also under fire for not notifying Mosaic’s neighbors that 215-million gallons of toxic water seeped through a sinkhole and into the aquifer.

Members of congress have called for an investigation into DEP’s handling, but on Thursday Governor Rick Scott said that’s unnecessary.

“They started going the investigation immediately,” he told reporters. “If anybody is doing anything wrong they will be held accountable.”

DEP officials continue to monitor Mosaic’s on-site testing.

The company maintains that all the contaminated water has been kept on site and that its network of recovery pumps and wells are working.