Panic In Philly As Chemical Spill Sends Residents Scrambling For Bottled Water

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Mar 26, 2023 - 09:00 PM

Update (2135 ET): Philadelphia officials have rescinded their recommendation that residents only drink bottled water. Saying testing has found no contamination at the intake site for the city water system, the officials assured the tap water should be considered safe...through at least 11:59 pm on Monday. 

In the wake of shoppers lining up all over the city to buy water, officials attempted to dissuade Philly residents from hoarding, encouraging them to use containers to stock up on two days of tap water just in case the assessment of the water's safety changes.  

"I want to reiterate there was never any contamination in Philadelphia Water Department's system," said Mike Carroll, deputy managing director for Philadelphia's Office of Transportation, at a 5pm briefing. "There was contamination in the Delaware River, but we shut off the intake to the River and we're operating off of water that was not contaminated."

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Philadelphia officials warned area residents on Sunday to drink only bottled water "out of caution" following the spill of a latex product along a tributary of the Delaware River.

"City of Phila recommends using bottled drinking water from 2PM 3/26/2023 until further notice for all Phila Water Department customers," reads a text message from city officials which was sent to area residents and reported by CNN. "Contaminants have not been found in the system at this time but this is out of caution due to a spill in the Delaware River."

 Following the notice, long lines formed at ShopRite, Target and other area stores, with ShopRite limiting customers to three bottles each.

"As has been reported, on Friday night a chemical spill occurred in Bristol Township, Bucks County which released contaminants into the Delaware River," said Mike Carroll, the city’s deputy managing director for transportation, infrastructure and sustainability. "The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) became aware of this through the Delaware Valley Early Warning System (EWS) and has been evaluating the situation since that time to understand potential impacts to the public. Although early indications have not revealed contamination, we are still monitoring the situation and conducting testing."

According to the Philadelphia Water Department's website, it provides water to over "2 million people in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, and Bucks counties."