Mosaic: Repair work finished on massive sinkhole in Polk County

Polk County

The massive sinkhole that opened up at the Mosaic plant in Mulberry is officially plugged, according to company officials. 

Monday morning the company took WFLA to see the top of the gypsum stack and the completed work from the sinkhole that opened in 2016

The repairs took about a year later than the company projected. Mosaic Official David Jellerson said the job was bigger than they expected. “The original schedule was put together without a full understanding of the complexity of the job,” Jellerson said the total cost of the repair was $84 million dollars. “Mosaic didn’t cut any corners in the effort to repair this.”

According to Mosaic, the repairs required a host of skilled engineers and specialists to develop and execute a plan to effectively remediate the sinkhole. In implementing that plan, Mosaic says it moved more than 780,000 cubic yards of material, drilled more than six dozen holes and placed approximately 20,000 cubic yards of grout involving more than 350,000 hours of site work.

Following the sinkhole, Mosaic offered to test residential drinking water wells. Through May 1, Mosaic has tested more than 2,300 samples. Those results have shown no offsite impacts. Mosaic will continue groundwater recovery and monitoring as well as residential well sampling as set forth in the Consent Order.  

Joyce Hunter lives within the testing area. She told WFLA her water is tested every three months. “So far the water is fine,” Hunter said the water has not shown any signs of contamination. “That was the big concern, the water.”

In March, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection authorized Mosaic to demobilize the grouting equipment on the site. As a final step in the remedial phase, Mosaic will submit a summary report for DEP review documenting the repair and testing.

Future information, including sampling results for residential wells within a four-mile radius, will be posted on the New Wales Incident web page.

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