Water quality testing begins near Mosaic sinkhole

Nearly 50 people requested water test
Posted at 6:48 PM, Sep 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-21 12:28:53-04

Mosaic is strategizing how to address the massive sinkhole that opened up on its New Wales property in Polk County.

The sinkhole sent millions of gallons of toxic water into the Florida Aquifer last week.

People living near the site are still concerned about the safety of their well water.

"Right now I'm hauling my drinking water in from St. Pete," said Polk Co. resident Gary Fuller.

MORE: Massive sinkhole opens at Mosaic facility in Polk County

According to Mosaic, 41 people requested a free water quality test for their property.

Company officials say a low-level of naturally-occurring Radium contaminated the water in the Florida Aquifer, leaving neighbors sticking with bottled water until the results are in.

"We just want answers on what the condition of the water is," said Lithia resident Joyce Hunter.

Many were relieved to hear that Mosaic hired an independent company to test their water quality.

Gainesville-based Environmental Consulting & Technology, Inc. spent the weekend calling residents in both Polk and Hillsborough counties to offer free water quality testing.

"I wanted an outside company to test it, we all feel better if an outs company is testing," said Hunter.  "So, we all hope that it's alight. I'm not expecting doomsday around here."

ECT crews are pumping water from the well and into a bucket as a probe inside measures pH levels and the number of dissolved minerals in the water.

Electronic readings are recorded on site and water samples are then sent to a lab for more research.

Mosaic officials expect most property owners will know the results be the end of the week.

"These results will be turned around on an expedited basis back to homeowners, maximum two days," said Mosaic spokesperson Jackie Barron.

Mosaic anticipates having the all testing completed by the end of the week.