3 South Jersey counties asked to limit water use after Delaware River chemical spill
Officials are asking residents in the three South Jersey counties to limit their water use until further notice.
American Water says customers in Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties are not impacted by Friday's chemical spill in the Delaware River.
However, the company says while water in those counties is safe to drink, it's trying to maintain operations for the region and make sure there is enough clean water to go around.
Bucks County, Pennsylvania health officials said Sunday that a leak late Friday evening at the Trinseo Altuglas chemical facility in Bristol Township spilled between 8,100 and 12,000 gallons of a water-based latex finishing solution into the river. Officials said it is non-toxic to humans and no known adverse health effects have been reported in the county.
The city water department said in an update Sunday evening that water “will remain safe to drink and use” at least through Monday, based on the time it takes water to move through treatment and water mains before reaching customers.
Officials said intakes to the city's Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant were closed after the spill, but they were opened overnight to maintain minimal water levels to avoid damage to equipment and to supply water for fire safety and other essential needs.
Pennsylvania American Water said its Yardley Water Treatment plant about 15 miles upstream of the release remains unaffected. Aqua said it shut off the intake to its Bristol water system to protect customers and had seen no impact from the spill.
“It is always a concern when there is a spill of chemicals or hazardous materials to our River system. It is important that people remain vigilant and if they see, smell, or witness concerning impacts to the River, or wildlife that they immediately report it,” a spokesperson for the Delaware Riverkeeper Network said in a statement.
The statement continued, “There were numerous reports on social media that something was wrong in the period after the spill. It was disappointing that we did not see our state and federal agencies releasing emergency notifications…to share information in real time.”
AP wire services contributed to this report.