Philadelphia is closely monitoring its drinking water system following a chemical leak in the Delaware River. They have declared that the water will be safe until Monday at the latest.
Officials from Philadelphia say that three chemicals were released into the river by a latex product. However, none of them have been found in Philadelphia's water supply.
The city had earlier issued push alerts to area residents via mobile phones recommending that they use bottled water starting at 2 p.m. Sunday. However, officials said late Sunday afternoon that tap water from the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant would be safe until Monday at 11:59 p.m.
They claimed that butylacrylate, ethylacrylate and methylmethacrylate had sunk into the Delaware River.
The chemical, butylacrylate, was identified in the East Palestine spillage. So, we know there are known health effects, and the established thresholds in terms if the parts per billion that are considered safe by the EPA,' Michael Carroll said to reporters, Philadelphia's deputy managing direct for transportation, infrastructure, and sustainability. He stated that water quality would be closely monitored.
Carroll stated, "Again, I want you to repeat, we haven't detected any of the contaminants in our water, and we will continue to use this as our first base for any decision-making we make,"
He stated that there was enough water for safe drinking and cooking, which he believes will last until Monday, March 27 at 11:59 pm. "The risk of contamination is decreasing over time."
According to the city, its safety advice regarding tap water was updated "based on the time it will require river water that entered the Baxter intakes on Sunday morning to pass through treatment and mains before reaching customers."
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that butyl acrylate, a colorless, potentially flammable liquid, can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system. According to the CDC, ethyl acrylate can cause irritation symptoms depending upon its exposure. Both chemicals are used in the manufacture of adhesives and paints.
Methyl methacrylate (sometimes called MMA) is a colorless liquid that has a fruity odor. It is used to make acrylic plastics and resins. Exposure to MMA can cause skin irritation and irritation to the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and eyes. Dental applications often use the polymer version.
Carroll said Sunday that the Philadelphia Police Department and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection had done a flyover over the Delaware River. They found no evidence of contamination plumes.
He said, "In this instance, since we were discussing essentially ingredients that go in latex paint, it would have been possible to see a kind o f white plume beneath the river surface."
In a Sunday night statement, the Coast Guard stated that 60,000 gallons of contaminated drinking water were collected from the chemical accident.
The statement states that "Clean-up focuses primarily on removing product and outflow from Mill Creek's storm drain system."
The statement states that Coast Guard pollution response teams conducted shoreline patrols on Sunday morning and found no visible products along the Delaware River. According to the Coast Guard, it has not received any reports of wildlife that is injured or endangered.
Carroll stated earlier in a statement that the contamination occurred Friday evening and involved a latex-based product that leaked along a Delaware River tributary near Bristol Township, Bucks County.
The statement states that the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), which was made aware of the situation through the Delaware Valley Early Warning System, (EWS), has been evaluating it since then to understand possible impacts to the general public.
According to company, equipment failure caused spillage
Trinseo PLC (the owner of the facility where the spillage occurred) stated in a statement posted on Sunday that it "appears to have been the result equipment failure" at Bristol, Pennsylvania's plant which produces acrylic resins.
According to the company, 8,100 gallons of solution (which is half water and half latex Polymer) were spilled.
The latex emulsion, a white liquid, is used in many consumer goods. Trinseo stated that the pigmentation makes it visible in water-soluble materials.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, a 'unknown quantity' of the product had leaked into the Delaware River. According to the statement, fish and wildlife were not affected.
Rich Negrin, acting secretary of the department, stated in the statement that 'Since dawn after the incident, The Department of Environmental Protection was at the facility where it originated'. He also said that the department would be there until there is no more threat to the people impacted in Bucks, Philadelphia, and Delaware counties. "We will be pursuing the responsible party and working closely with our partners in monitoring the spread of the contaminants.
The Philadelphia Water Department stated on its website that it supplies water to more than 2 million residents in Philadelphia, Montgomery and Delaware.
It will post updates on the spillage to a community site.