Mosaic releases testing data from wells

Evan Axelbank reports

- Mosaic has released data it says confirms water away from the sinkhole that spilled hundreds of millions of gallons of contaminated water has not yet been compromised.

The company released a spreadsheet that shows test results from 13 wells at various depths. The results show levels of pH, sulfate sodium and conductivity are all in acceptable ranges.

However, neighbors like Heather Stokes-Benton still don't believe Mosaic officials, after the company admitted it took three weeks to tell the public about the spill.

On Tuesday, Mosaic did, however, apologize for not informing neighbors and said it would pay for any testing neighbors wanted done to feel secure about their water sources. Mosaic showed FOX 13 data it has been sharing with the Department of Environmental Protection since August 29 - two days after the sinkhole opened.

"All of the data, so far, shows no contaminants have yet reached these wells," said Mosaic spokesman David Jellerson.

In 37 tests of water from 13 wells, checking for acidity, sodium and sulfate between August 29 and September 20, all met acceptable drinking water standards.

Conductivity tests showed no elevation.

"The first set of wells is very close to the perimeter of the stack. Then we have wells much further away," said Jellerson. "It hasn't reached the ones closest, so it certainly hasn't reached the ones further away."

Jellerson said it would take at least a year for groundwater to reach the outer wells, even without the pumps they're using to catch the contaminated water. The key tests won't come for another three to 12 months, to see if contamination has escaped.

'We don't anticipate that any of the contaminated water will ever get that far," said Jellerson.

The first round of tests from six nearby homes, several miles from the sinkhole, have shown no dangerous groundwater. Stokes-Benton said she will use the tester Mosaic provides, and a tester her family has hired, as well.

"You have all the fear of Flint, Michigan. You have the Erin Brockovitch reports," said Stokes-Benton. "Sometimes you want to believe that people will tell you the truth."

Mosaic says the DEP is also on site, doing its own tests and monitoring the sinkhole.

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