MULBERRY (FOX 13) - Mosaic has announced a new water testing plan after a sinkhole leaked nearly 215 million gallons of radioactive water into the ground below at the company’s plant near Mulberry.
The fertilizer company has agreed with the state to test water at homes within a four-mile radius every three months in 2017. In 2018, the company will test those homes twice throughout the year. It’s unclear if testing will continue past 2018.
The water testing had been offered for neighbors who requested it since the weeks after the sinkhole was made public.
Mosaic says it’s offering the testing in accordance with the new schedule to both homes that have already been tested and ones that request testing within the established radius.
The company was offering bottled water to concerned neighbors. It is no longer providing the water for anyone outside the four miles, unless water tests reveal water unsafe for drinking. In those cases, Mosaic said any anomalies have not been connected to water leaked from its sinkhole, but bottled water will be provided until the end of the year. Mosaic will also provide bottled water for any household awaiting results of its first round of testing.
Neighbors who spoke to FOX 13 are encouraged by the continued testing, but they remain skeptical about the safety of their drinking water.
“I feel good about [the testing]. I feel great about that but I think it's their responsibility. I don't think it should be every three or four months. I think it should be every freaking week if you ask me,” said Louella Phillips Whitford, who lives under four miles from the Mosaic plant.
‘It's been scary. Like I said I have a four year old that stays with me. She's been drinking the water. She's been bathing in the water. What if she gets sick?” said Christina Gilman.
Mosaic maintains none of the contaminated water ever made it off its property.
The company will address concerns at a series of community meetings. The first will be held on Monday at 5:30 p.m. at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Bradley Junction.