Philadelphia says 'no need to buy water at this time' after nearby chemical spill

Philadelphia says 'no need to buy water at this time' after nearby chemical spill

A nearby chemical spill in Philadelphia has local residents on high alert, after officials initially recommended that residents use bottled water "out of an abundance of caution."

The city of Philadelphia on Monday said the tap water from the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant is safe until "at least through 3:30 p.m. tomorrow."

The city had previously said this is because the water "currently available to customers was treated before the spill reached Philadelphia."

"There is no need to buy water at this time," the city said Sunday. "Customers can fill bottles or pitchers with tap water with no risk at this time."

The initial recommendation came after a spill in nearby Bucks County on Friday due to a ruptured pipe at a chemical plant, officials had said.

Although residents were urged to use bottled water, city officials said contaminants "have not been found" in the local water system.

An estimated 8,100 gallons of latex finishing material, a water-soluble acrylic polymer solution, was released into Otter Creek in Bristol, Pennsylvania, on Friday. Officials said Saturday the release was due to a pipe rupture at a nearby chemical plant, Trinseo PLC.

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"It's like the material you find in paint," said senior vice president of manufacturing and engineering at Trinseo, Tim Thomas, according to ABC Philadelphia station WPVI. "It's your typical acrylic paint you have in your house, that's what really this material is, in a water base."

As testing on the city's water continues, officials said that besides finding no contaminants in the water, the health risks are "very low if present at all."

No acute effects are associated with low-level exposure, the city said.

PHOTO: Philadelphia skyline (STOOCK PHOTO/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Philadelphia skyline (STOOCK PHOTO/Getty Images)

"Our best information is that people who ingest water will not suffer any near-term symptoms or acute medical conditions," Philadelphia officials said." We foresee no reason to seek medical attention related to this event."

The Coast Guard announced the chemical spill, as well as its efforts to help that include coordinating with local and federal agencies to investigate the incident.

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"We are working with the responsible party and local and federal agencies to ensure a safe response effort," Capt. Jonathan Theel, the commander of Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, said in a statement. "We are also working with our State counterparts in Pennsylvania."

Currently, the Coast Guard has not received any calls of injured or affected wildlife.

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