Safe drinking water is a top priority for Tampa Bay Water and its members. In light of the news about the Mosaic sinkhole and subsequent water quality concerns, we want to confirm that Tampa Bay Water is committed to the continued delivery of safe, clean water to our member utilities and their customers.
In late September, Tampa Bay Water learned the news of the sinkhole that opened up under a gypsum stack at the Mosaic phosphate fertilizer plant in Polk County, draining more than 200 million gallons of contaminated water into the Floridan Aquifer. Tampa Bay Water’s regulatory staff contacted the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and were informed that there was no threat to groundwater supplies outside of the Mosaic property.
We are closely monitoring information provided by FDEP and Mosaic because Tampa Bay Water’s South Central Hillsborough Regional Wellfield, which draws water from the Aquifer, is located approximately five miles from the Mosaic plant.
Groundwater in the area of the Mosaic sinkhole flows from east to west and we do not expect contaminated water to reach the wellfield, even if it leaves the Mosaic property. However, in an abundance of caution, Tampa Bay Water is not currently running the two easternmost production wells in the wellfield. In addition, Tampa Bay Water increased the frequency of its water quality monitoring at two monitoring wells located between its wellfield and the Mosaic plant. Weekly testing has revealed no indication of contamination.
Tampa Bay Water regulatory staff will remain in contact with FDEP as they continue to monitor the issue and will provide updates as needed.
For more information and daily updates on the incident please visit the Florida Department of Environmental Protection website. You may also visit the Mosaic website for updates and to have a residential well tested.