The Stream, September 19: Florida Sinkhole Contaminates Aquifer

The Global Rundown

A sinkhole at a fertilizer plant in Florida sent radioactive material into a local aquifer over the weekend, and a gasoline pipeline spill in Alabama narrowly missed sensitive river habitat. The Netherlands resumed a funding project to install potable water access in Benin. Researchers will set off from England this week to study how microplastics affect life in the Atlantic Ocean. A La Nina weather pattern could downgrade the quality of a bumper wheat crop in Australia. The Los Angeles water utility triggered public anger by watering artificial grass during California’s drought.

“They’re quick to fine us for certain things, overwatering or whatever.” –Amber Gordon, a resident of Los Angeles, upon learning that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had watered artificial turf during California’s drought in order to keep it clean. (Reuters)

By The Numbers

813 million liters Amount of radioactive water that flowed from a sinkhole at a fertilizer plant into the Floridian Aquifer over the weekend, a source of water for millions of Florida residents. ABC News

$10 million Amount an agreement between the Netherlands and Benin will direct to providing potable water in 21 communities in Benin. Bloomberg

1.2 million liters Amount of fuel spilled from a gasoline pipeline in Alabama, narrowly missing the Cahaba river system. Instead, the fuel flowed into a nearby mining retention pond. Guardian

Science, Studies, And Reports

A scientific expedition to study the effect of microplastics on zooplankton in the Atlantic Ocean is scheduled to depart England on Tuesday. Microplastics are often washed into the sea from wastewater treatment plants, which fail to capture the minuscule plastic pieces that are included in many hand soaps and other personal hygiene products. Guardian

On The Radar

An expected near record-breaking wheat crop in Australia could decline over the next few months due to a La Nina weather pattern, according to commodities analysts and traders. A La Nina typically brings wetter than normal conditions to Australia, potentially degrading the quality of the country’s wheat. Reuters