ABC Action News
October 17, 2016
build rig in order to find the bottom of massive toxic sinkhole
MULBERRY, Fla. - The toxic sinkhole that
drained 215-million gallons of radioactive water into the aquifer is at least
220-feet deep from the surface to the top of the gypsum that fell into the
hole, according to data engineers recently collected.
hole extends even deeper, however, the gypsum material that fell in is
preventing them from getting a solid measurement.
Company officials released new pictures and drone video on Monday from the
two-day operation that involved building a rig and dropping what’s called
“Li-Dar”, using light rays to map distances.
crews couldn’t safely walk to the edge of the hole, contractors ran a long
cable from one side to the other.
cable is something very similar to what you’re used to — NFL football games.
When the video (camera) goes across the field, it’s the same type of cable and
same type of mechanism,” said Hershel Morris, Vice President of Phosphate
Operations for Mosaic.
in place, engineers finally started to gather the data they waited months to see.
takeaway: from the top of the hole to the top of the gypsum that fell in
stretches a staggering 220-feet deep. That’s roughly the length of five school
buses if you stack them one on top of the other.
officials still believe every drop of the 215-million gallons of radioactive
water seeped through into the aquifer.
pumps installed continue to retrieve that water at a rate of 35-hundred gallons
going to do whatever it takes to make this thing right,” Morris said.
technology available today trimmed months of the operation.
1994 when a similar incident occurred, engineers had to drill multiple holes to
determine the death and scope of the hole which took several months.
workers know exactly how close they can safely get to start pumping it full of
hopes to begin that process by mid-December.