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Mosaic: New Wales water loss incident

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September 16, 2016 Report

  • Mosaic is using ground water well P-4 to recover water that was lost as a result of the sinkhole formation. The well, which is 24-inches in diameter and 800 feet deep, is located west of the south gyp stack and is shown in the photo at right.
  • Community members may call 813-500-6575 with questions or concerns or to request free drinking water well testing. Media inquiries should be directed to Public Affairs Manager, Callie Neslund at (863) 844-5327.

September 15, 2016 Report

Mosaic’s phosphogypsum stacks are equipped with a comprehensive monitoring system that provides an early warning of irregular conditions. On Saturday, August 27, 2016, water level monitoring at our New Wales facility in Polk County showed a decline in the water levels for one of the two cells of our active stack, the west cell.

Mosaic reported the water level decline to the relevant government authorities - the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as Polk County.

Based on the nature of this water loss and on what we’ve learned so far, a sinkhole formed under the west cell that we believe damaged the liner system at the base of the stack. The pond on top of the cell drained as a result, although some seepage continues. We estimate that the hole is approximately 45 feet in diameter and believe the sinkhole reaches the Floridan aquifer. Mosaic immediately implemented additional and extensive groundwater monitoring and sampling regimens and has found no offsite impacts.

Additionally, when the water loss was detected, we began pumping water out of the west cell and into an alternative holding area on site to reduce the amount of drainage. At this time we have begun the process of recovering the water by pumping through onsite production wells.

We are working closely with regulators and have been reporting to FDEP daily. We have also called in top experts in the field to advise us on this issue. Enhanced water quality monitoring continues, and we are developing a comprehensive corrective action plan to address and rectify the cause of the water loss.

We continue to operate the New Wales facility and manufacture fertilizer. There has been no interruption in operations as a result of this incident.

For updates, go to this page on the Mosaic website. The page will have updates on a sinkhole that formed in one compartment of Mosaic’s active gyp stack in New Wales. Questions may be directed to Callie Neslund at (863) 844-5327.