Tap water from the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant will remain safe to drink and use at least through tonight, 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 27, 2023. Virtual media briefing to take place at 5 p.m.

PHILADELPHIA – City officials announced an update to the City’s response to a chemical spill on the Delaware River, as of 1:20 p.m. on Monday, March 27, 2023.

The Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) remains confident that tap water from the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant is safe to drink and use at least through 11:59 p.m. today, Monday, March 27, 2023. This assurance is due to the treatment and continuous testing of water that is currently available to residents.

We are maintaining minimum levels of water in the system to avoid any damage to our equipment to continue supplying water including fire safety and other needs. PWD has analyzed a variety of samples from the river and raw water basin using infrared spectroscopy and gas chromatography. Contaminants related to the Bristol Township discharge have not been found in PWD’s water system at this time.

PWD will continue to track the spill closely. If at any point the water quality sampling indicates a potential impact to the river water entering the Baxter Water Treatment Plant, we will notify the public immediately. Residents can find out if they live in a potentially impacted area here.

As part of the City’s emergency response protocol, the City is working with partners to develop a water distribution plan in the event that it is needed. Informational materials in multiple languages will be shared accordingly. Residents can confidently drink and store their tap water at least through 11:59 p.m. tonight, Monday, March 27, 2023.

“We understand the legitimate concern that is felt by the public as the release of chemicals into our waterways can pose a major threat to our health and safety,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “The Philadelphia Water Department is working around the clock to ensure that this does not happen and that our water remains safe to drink and use. I encourage residents who want to make sure they have water available to fill bottles or pitchers of tap water and am confident that there is no risk at this time. We will continue to share updates as information becomes available.”

For planning purposes, there will be a media briefing at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 27, 2023. Details will be issued in a separate advisory. Please hold all questions.

Stay Informed

  • Any drinking water quality incident requiring public notification would be announced through ReadyPhiladelphia notifications and the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management. PWD has been monitoring the incident since being alerted and is using computer models to monitor the flow of the spill.
  • To get alerts about drinking water quality, sign up for ReadyPhiladelphia by texting READYPHILA to 888-777 for free phone alerts or customize free text and email alerts by visiting the Office of Emergency Management’s website at phila.gov/ready.
  • For official updates from the City, follow @PhilaOEM on Twitter or Facebook.
  • Other City Twitter accounts to follow for information: @PhiladelphiaGov and @PhillyH2O.

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