Chemical Spill in Philadelphia Suburb Sparks Water Contamination Fears

March 28, 2023
1 min read

On March 24, Trinseo, a company that manufactures various materials, mistakenly released a latex emulsion product into a nearby storm drain in Bristol, Penn. This has caused a lot of concern among nearby residents about water contamination. The spill flowed into Otter Creek and then into the Delaware River, which pushed authorities to kickstart cleanup efforts and test water samples to ensure community’s safety.

Frank Bozich, Trinseo’s CEO, stated that the safety of employees, communities, and the environment is a top priority for the company. They are conducting a thorough assessment of all their units and processes to identify and fix any potential issues. None of the 110 employees in the unit were injured because of the chemical spill, and authorities were alerted immediately to start the cleanup process.

The latex emulsion that was mistakenly spilled is made up of about 50 percent water and 50 percent latex polymer, and more than 8,100 gallons were leaked. However, the solution is water-soluble and easier to contain compared to various other types of chemicals. The released liquid is visible on the water surface because of its pigmentation.

Residents hurried to buy bottled water from grocery shops after coming across the news of the chemical spill. Despite initial advisories about tap water, the residents went ahead and bought bottled water in bulk. Philadelphia officials had confirmed that water from the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant is safe to drink, at least until 11:59 p.m. on March 27.

Authorities appreciated the urgency shown by local first responders, along with the efforts of the U.S. EPA, the Pennsylvania DEP, and the United States Coast Guard managing the spill and ensuring the safety of nearby communities.

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