Headline RoundupMarch 27th, 2023

Philadelphia Officials Monitor Water After Chemical Spill in Delaware River

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Philadelphia officials said tap water remains safe to drink at least through Monday after notifying residents of a chemical spill this past weekend.

Details: Many Philadelphia residents stockpiled water bottles this weekend after the Philadelphia Water Department announced that it was monitoring a “spill of a latex product that occurred along a Delaware River tributary.” On Sunday, the Philadelphia Water Department tweeted that “based on updated hydraulic modeling and the latest sampling, we are confident tap water from the Baxter plant will remain safe to drink through 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 27.” City officials released a map indicating which parts of Philadelphia are potentially impacted by the spill. The water supply will reportedly be tested again when new water is allowed into the Baxter Water Treatment Plant. In preparation for a potential contamination, the Water Department is “working with partners to develop a water distribution plan,” but currently the water is “safe to drink and use for bathing, cooking, and washing.”

Cause of the Spill: The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the spill occurred at the Trinseo Altuglas facility in Bristol, upriver from the Baxter Water Treatment Plant in Philadelphia. Roughly 8,100 gallons of a latex emulsion solution spilled as a result of an “equipment failure,” according to a statement from Trinseo.

How The Media Covered It: Outlets across the spectrum highlighted the panic buying of water that ensued following Saturday’s announcement, but emphasized that as of right now the threat of water contamination appeared to be low.

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