Philadelphia monitors water contamination levels after a latex spill in the Delaware River
Philadelphia residents are still rushing to buy bottled water, despite officials declarations that the tap water is still uncontaminated
On Sunday afternoon, Philadelphia’s 1.5 million residents received a tap water advisory alert, stating that a chemical spill from a latex plant had flown into the Delaware River, the city’s source of tap water. Almost instantly, people took to the streets to stock up on bottled water, and lines for grocery and convenience stores grew longer as water supply grew more scarce.
On Monday, city officials said during a press conference that Philadelphia’s tap water will be safe to drink and use until Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., and encouraged residents to fill containers with tap water while they can.
The news: The chemical spill first occurred on Friday at a Bucks County latex plant when an “equipment failure” dumped around 8,100 gallons of latex emulsion solution into a tributary of the Delaware River, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.
- As of Monday afternoon, officials have found no contamination in Philadelphia’s drinking water, according to The Associated Press, and also said the latex emulsion solution is nontoxic to humans.
- Officials stated that they will continue to test the Delaware River to confirm that it is uncontaminated.
Based on the latest hydraulic modeling and sampling results, we are confident that tap water from the Baxter plant will remain safe to drink and use at least through 3:30 p.m. tomorrow, March 28, 2023. Latest updates here: https://t.co/g0jrCcy17q pic.twitter.com/Iujz6YdljI— Philadelphia Water (@PhillyH2O) March 27, 2023
Details: According to NBC Philadelphia, some residents aren’t taking their chances when it comes to drinking water.
- Stores are facing difficulties in keeping shelves stocked with bottled water, despite the city’s statements that the water is still safe to drink.
- The New York Times stated that originally city officials urged residents to stock up on bottled water, stating that they’re not “100 percent sure that there won’t be traces of these chemicals in the tap water.” However, officials later rescinded their statement, saying that the water was still safe for consumption.
- In a news briefing on Sunday, Michael Carroll, Philadelphia’s deputy managing director for transportation, infrastructure and sustainability, said, “If you want to store water, you should feel free to draw it from your tap, store it in a bottle, you can put it in a pitcher, put it on your fridge. There’s no need at this time for people to be rushing out and buying bottled water.”