Contaminated well concerns prompt protests after Mosaic sinkhole incident

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MULBERRY, Fla. (WFLA) – Concerns over contaminated wells prompted a handful of protesters to gather in front of Mulberry City Hall. They held signs, hoping to hold the Mosaic Corporation accountable.

Last week, we learned a sinkhole opened up beneath a company-owned gypsum stack on August 27 and sucked 215 million gallons of slightly radioactive water into the Florida aquifer.  Some are worried that contaminated water will make its way into their private wells.

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Jessica Broadbent lives a few miles from where the sinkhole swallowed all of that water.

“It’s going into our water supply,” she said. “It affecting our children. Our children’s children, eventually, our community. It affects our environment.”

She adds she is concerned about the lapse in time between when the sinkhole opened, and when the public was made aware of the issue.

“Oh, I’m very upset about that,” she said. “I think there should’ve been a hundred percent transparency. The minute there’s a leak, a sinkhole, whatever the case may be, there needs to be immediate community involvement and understanding so that there can be transparency.  So it doesn’t look like a cover up because that’s what it looks like.”

Lee Cole drove to Mulberry from his home in Lake County just north of Orlando. While he’s not personally affected by the incident, he wonders what the long term affects will be.

“They need transparency,” Cole said. “I’m concerned for your children’s health. And that should be it. We should all be out there holding Mosaic responsible. Having them do their best to clean this up.”

Mosaic company representatives contend they have wells to capture the contaminated water. Bruce Mullins wonders, how that works.

“If you drop 215 million gallons of water into a moving body of water, how in the world are you going to reclaim even a good portion of that much less any of it?”  Mullins said. “I would like to see the science behind that and how they can prove that they have reclaimed this water.”

The company has also offered free well testing to anyone in the vicinity concerned about possible contaminants in their water supply. The number to call is 813-500-6575.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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