Philadelphia residents are being told they may only want to drink bottled water following a chemical spill in the Delaware River in neighboring Bucks County.
Bucks County health officials said on Sunday that a Friday night leak at the Trinseo Altuglas chemical plant in Bristol Township spilled between 8,100 and 12,000 gallons of a latex-based finishing solution. of water in the river. Officials said it is not toxic to humans and no known adverse health effects have been reported in the county.
Mike Carroll, deputy general manager of Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability, said there have been no signs of contamination in the city’s water, but officials “can’t not be 100% certain” that the traces will not appear on Sunday afternoon. He called the material’s health risks “very low if present”, but said officials wanted people to be aware so they could consider using bottled water for drinking. or cooking to further minimize any risk.
Officials said the water intakes at the city’s Baxter drinking water treatment plant were closed after the spill, but were left open overnight to maintain minimum water levels. to prevent damage to equipment and to provide water for fire safety and other essential needs.
State environmental officials are leading the response. Pennsylvania American Water said its Yardley water treatment plant, located about 15 miles (24 kilometers) upriver from the release, was unaffected. Aqua said it closed the inlet to its Bristol water system to protect customers and saw no impact from the spill.
Tim Thomas, Trinseo Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Engineering said WPVI-TV on Saturday that the material posed no risk to the public. “It’s like the material you find in paint,” he told the station. “It’s your typical acrylic paint you have in your house, that’s really what this material is, water-based.”