TAMPA, Fla. – A phosphate company says more than 200 million gallons of contaminated waste water from a fertilizer plant in central Florida leaked into one of the state’s main underground sources of drinking water after a massive sinkhole opened up beneath a storage pond.
Mosaic, the world’s largest supplier of phosphate, said the hole opened up beneath a pile of waste material called a “gypsum stack.” The 215-million gallon storage pond sat atop the waste mineral pile. The company said the sinkhole is about 45 feet in diameter.
Mosaic says it’s monitoring groundwater and has found no offsite impacts. The company said it’s working to recover the water.
The Polk County phosphate plant is still running.
The water had been used to transport the gypsum, which is a byproduct of fertilizer production.