Chemical spill in the Delaware River creates panic among Philadelphia residents

Caris Grell, Staff Reporter

Philadelphia officials state that their tap water is safe to consume, at least until Wednesday at 11:59pm, after a chemical spill in the Delaware River sparked worries of contamination.

An estimated 8,100 gallons of water-soluble acrylic polymer solution was release into the Delaware River Friday night a few miles upstream of a key water intake for Philadelphia’s baxter Water Treatment Plant. The spill was caused from an equipment malfunction at a Trinseo PLC plant that makes acrylic resins. Many ingredients in the solution are dangerous if consumed, though officials have been continuously testing the water for contamination signs, and none have been found so far.

Even though the water was deemed safe to consume, residents have been on a bottled water frenzy, emptying grocery store shelves at a rapid pace. Many are confused that state officials have deemed the water safe, after their initial statement advising residents to use bottled water.

Empty bottled water shelves in a Philadelphia grocery store/CNN

On Monday, state officials advised that Philadelphia residents save at least three days worth of water in case of emergency. Tests are still being conducted and many worried citizens have decided not to trust officials until it is proven that there is no chance of contamination.