Managing water in our phosphogypsum stacks is an important part of Mosaic’s manufacturing operations. In 2004, our Riverview gypstack experienced a breach. The incident occurred in a year when an unprecedented four hurricanes struck Florida, leaving the region saturated as a result of extraordinarily high natural water levels and much higher than average rainfall. The water from the breach entered Archie Creek, and subsequently made its way to a small area along the Hillsborough Bay coastline.
This water, which was diluted quickly because of heavy rainfall, also remained very close to shore due to the tropical weather conditions. As a result, it was determined by highly-qualified third-party experts that any impacts were temporary and extremely localized.
Following the breach, Mosaic invested approximately $30 million in improvements at the Riverview facility, including infrastructure that allows us to store greater volumes of water and better manage water inventories at the facility. Many of these water management practices have been successfully implemented at other gypstacks in the region. In addition, Mosaic has performed mitigation activities at the Giant’s Camp Wetland Restoration and Oyster Reef Project and partnered on numerous restoration projects in Tampa Bay. In fact, Mosaic’s partnership with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program and implementation of best management practices at its facilities on the Bay have contributed to seagrass populations meeting and exceeding major recovery goals to levels not seen since 1950 and achieving all water quality targets in Tampa Bay for the third year in a row. Read more about the improved health of Tampa Bay.