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Chemical Contamination Found in Corpus Christi Tap Water

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Residents of Corpus Christi, TX were warned late Wednesday evening (December 14th) by city officials that they should not be using their tap water due to a chemical possibly contaminating the city’s water supply. By Thursday, city officials had confirmed the chemical contamination, which was identified as anywhere from three to twenty-four gallons of Indulin AA86, an asphalt emulsifier that apparently came from a facility in an industrial district of Corpus Christi.

Chemical Contamination Found in Corpus Christie Tap Water

Photo: Wikimedia

It was identified via official statement from a Valero refinery spokesperson in the city that there was a backflow problem “from third party operations” near the Valero asphalt terminal which appears to be the source of the issue. “At this time, we believe this is a localized backflow issue from third party operations in the area of Valero’s asphalt terminal. We do not believe this issues is being caused by Valero’s Corpus Christi refineries. While the City continues to investigate this issue, we do not believe the City’s water has been impacted,” the statement identified. “We believe this issue is isolated to a lateral industrial line. Valero is offering its resources to assist the City in isolating the issue and to help confirm this has not impacted the City’s water supply.”

Chemical Contamination Found in Corpus Christie Tap Water

Photo: Flickr/Steven Depolo

In a news statement, city officials stated, “Only bottled water should be used for all drinking, beverage and food preparation (including baby formula and juice), making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes or clothes, washing hands, and bathing until further notice.” Residents are also being advised not to try to treat or boil their tap water for use. What triggered investigations into the issue was a phone call the City of Corpus Christi had received on Wednesday afternoon identifying that there was dirty water near the downtown area. It was traced back to the industrial area between the Valero refinery and one other company.

Chemical Contamination Found in Corpus Christie Tap Water

Photo: Wikimedia

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been contacted by the City of Corpus Christi and it’s been identified that the substance is not poisonous nor anticipated to be a health hazard. Public safety is the first priority in the matter, and within minutes of a news release by the city, local stores were inundated with residents looking to buy bottled water. In under an hour, the entire inventory had gone dry. At present, there have been no reports of illness or injury resulting from the tap water contamination, and city officials continue to monitor testing and water system results.