Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Corpus Christi Lifts Water Ban after Tests Find No Corrosive

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Corpus Christi Lifts Water Ban after Tests Find No Corrosive

Article excerpt

HOUSTON * A nearly four-day ban on drinking the water in Corpus Christi, Texas, was lifted on Sunday after test results showed no contamination from a chemical leak, the city's mayor announced.

Mayor Dan McQueen said residents could resume using the city's water supply for drinking, bathing and cooking.

"It is all full use but we are going to continue to monitor as we go on," McQueen said.

None of the 28 drinking water samples the Environmental Protection Agency reviewed tested positive for Indulin AA-86, an asphalt-emulsifying agent that's corrosive, the federal agency said Sunday in a statement. Indulin can burn the eyes, skin and respiratory tract if a person comes into contact with concentrated amounts.

The water ban had been issued late Wednesday out of concern that a chemical leak at an asphalt plant leased to Ergon Asphalt and Emulsions by oil refiner Valero could have contaminated the city's water supply.

The EPA said there had been seven "unconfirmed" reports of symptoms potentially related to prohibited water use. The federal agency, along with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, will continue collecting and testing water samples over the next few days.

McQueen said officials would continue investigating the leak at the asphalt plant and might seek damages from those responsible.

EPA spokesman David Gray said Saturday night that the federal agency would begin an in-depth investigation of the leak "and take appropriate action" as soon as it finished with the water testing.

On Saturday, city officials said there had been three reports of dirty water before the ban was issued.

There has been some confusion over when city officials were notified of the serious water problems at the plant site that ultimately led to the water ban.

There had been two reports earlier this month of dirty water at the plant site that resulted in city workers' flushing out pipes. City officials have said such dirty water reports are common. …

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