Philadelphia Officials Advise Tap Water Is Safe Until Evening

Philadelphia Officials Advise Tap Water Is Safe To Consume Up Until Monday Evening, Following Chemical Spill

Philadelphia officials are now advising that the city’s tap water should be “safe to drink” up until Monday evening. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the announcement arrives after a chemical spill into the Delaware River on Friday prompted officials to advise residents to only drink bottled water.

Philadelphia Official’s Most Recent Advisory For Residents

According to The Philadephia Inquirer, Philadelphia officials issued an advisory on Sunday morning, prompting residents to switch to bottled water “out of an abundance of caution.”

On Sunday night, an update was issued due to “no contamination” being found in the water at Baxter Water Treatment Plant. According to the outlet, this gives city residents “enough safe drinking water” to last them through 11:59 p.m. Monday night.

The Baxter Water Treatment Plant will then be intaking new water overnight, which the outlet reports. “will again have to be tested to determine its safety.”

Mike Carroll, deputy managing director for the city’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability, shared a statement with additional advice for residents.

“There’s no need at this time for people to be rushing out and buying bottled water.”

Instead, Carroll advises that residents fill bottles with tap water on Monday. As well as await further instructions from the city.

More Details About The Recent Chemical Spill

On Sunday morning, Philadephia officials shared that there had recently been a chemical spill at the Trinseo plant in Bristol, into the Delaware River in Bucks County. According to The Philadephia Inquirer, an estimated 8,100 gallons of a “latex emulsion solution — ‘approximately 50% water and the remainder latex polymer,’ was spilled.

Officials recommended that “residents use bottled water for drinking or cooking,” as As The Shade Room previously reported. Despite testing, at the time, revealing there had been “no contamination.”

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the announcement pushed residents into a frenzy, and “panic-buying ensued.” The outlet’s deputy business editor, Erica Palan, is a resident of Northwest Philadelphia and took to Twitter to share photos.

“Whoa, real March 2020 vibes in my ‘hood right now. Saw people with ten cases of water leaving Acme, telling people walking in to ‘hurry!’ because bottled water is going fast. My 7/11 line is people buying by the gallon. ‘We’re almost out,’ the cashier said.”

A woman named Lauren Witzke also shared a video of shoppers in her area on Twitter.

“People in Philadephia are rushing to buy water after a chemical spill in the Delaware River.”

Former TV weatherman, Ben Ames, also shared additional footage via Twitter.

“Line at Target to buy bottled water 10 minutes after the city of Philadelphia sent out an alert regarding a spill on the Delaware River.”

Additional Information Impacted Residents Should Know

According to the outlet, “ethyl acrylate and methyl methacrylate” were also released in the chemical spill. Additionally, the city advised against residents boiling tap water. Furthermore, explaining that it would not remove the chemicals from the water.

In addition, Carroll explained that the health risks associated with “low-level” exposure to the chemicals are “very low.”

“There are no acute effects associated with the low-level exposures of these contaminants that we’re seeing. Our best information is that people who ingest water will not suffer any near-term symptoms or any acute medical conditions. And so we foresee no need to seek medical attention related to this event.”

Furthermore, Carroll explained that residents may still use their water to bathe and wash dishes, as reported by The Philadephia Inquirer. However, Ted Schettler, a physician and science director at the environmental nonprofit Science and Environmental Health Network, has since informed the outlet that exposure to butyl acrylate can cause “short-term skin rash.” As well as “stomach problems,” so it may still be “safer” for residents to “avoid bathing” in the water.

A map of areas potentially impacted by the chemical spill can be viewed here.


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