According to the outlet, city authorities have advised against consuming the water after latex finishing material was dumped into Bristol, Pennsylvania's Otter Creek. "As cleanup measures are underway, authorities advise the public to avoid the water and surrounding area," the publication reported.
Bristol is located about 23 miles from the center of Philadelphia, where officials have claimed that there is no evidence to prove the water is contaminated, but people should avoid consuming the water as a precaution.
"Philadelphia Water Department customers in the city are recommended to use bottled drinking water beginning at 2:00 pm today until further notice out of an abundance of caution," Philadelphia authorities said on Sunday.
As reported by ABC 6, the US Coast Guard has said that the materials spilled into the waterway, which connects to the Delaware River, from a ruptured pipe from local chemical plant Trinseo PLC.
"It hit the roof of a building, went down a gutter, from the gutter it went to a storm drain, from the storm drains it found another outfall basin, from there it started to leak into the river," Trinseo Senior Vice President of Manufacturing and Engineering Tim Thomas told the outlet.
ABC reports that "an estimated 8,100 gallons of latex finishing material, a water-soluble acrylic polymer solution was released into the creek."
According to Michael Carroll, Philadelphia's deputy managing director for transportation, infrastructure, and sustainability, "the health risks are very low if present at all. No acute effects are associated with low level exposure."
"Our best information is that people who ingest water will not suffer any near-term symptoms or acute medical conditions. We foresee no reason to seek medical attention related to this event," he said, adding that the water intakes at the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant on the Delaware River were closed after the incident "to maintain minimum levels of water in the system to avoid any damage to our equipment to continue supplying water for including fire safety and other needs."
"Contaminates have not been found in our system at this time," Carroll said.
"Nonetheless, because we cannot be 100 percent sure that there won't be traces of these chemicals in the tap water throughout the afternoon, we want the public to be aware so that people can consider switching to bottled water to further minimize any risk. Therefore, we are notifying the public in the customer service area that they may wish not to drink or cook with tap water… Additionally, there is no concern over skin exposure or fire hazard. Bathing and washing dishes do not present a concern. Likewise, we have no concern over inhaling fumes at the levels we are evaluating."
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