Residents advised to drink bottled water after Delaware River spill

On Sunday, March 26, 2023, the City of Philadelphia released an updated statement indicating that tap water from the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant is safe and there is no need to buy bottled water. This comes after a chemical spill occurred in the Delaware River on Friday night, leading to the city sending out mobile phone alerts earlier in the day, recommending the use of bottled water as a precaution. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reported that an “unknown amount” of the spilled product had entered the Delaware River, and though water sampling is ongoing, contaminants have not been detected at drinking water intakes. The chemical spill happened at a facility in Bristol, Pennsylvania and is believed to be the result of equipment failure. The company estimated 8,100 gallons of a solution made of half water and half latex polymer was spilled. The city’s Deputy Managing Director for Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability, Mike Carroll, said that the water currently available to customers was treated before the spill reached Philadelphia and remains safe to drink and use for bathing, cooking and washing. The Philadelphia Water Department provides water to more than 2 million people in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, and Bucks counties. A ShopRite store in South Philadelphia said it was selling out of bottled water before 2 p.m. Sunday after the alerts were sent out and when the store is able to restock shelves, it plans to limit cases of bottled water to three per customer.


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