Published: Fri, December 16, 2016
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

Texas city says 1 chemical seeped into water


Q. Has the water been tested and what are the results? "The city and state needs to get to the bottom of this problem and make sure the pollution stops, the water is safe, and responsible parties are held accountable".

Newly elected Mayor Dan McQueen told our sister station KRIS 6 News that city officials aren't fully aware of what chemical may have been introduced to the water, but it was from an industry at a single-point entry, likely a backflow prevention failure.

The Texas city of Corpus Christi has told its almost 320,000 residents to stop using tap water due to possible contamination from an industrial chemical leak, city officials said on Thursday.

At the conference, Womack said a donor has also allocated 27,000 cases of water to be distributed throughout the city. "Our local delegation is continuing to work very hard to restore water as soon as possible".

The discovery Wednesday of the leaked chemical has led schools to close and long lines at grocery stores where residents are stocking up on bottled water.

"It's worse than whenever we have hurricane evacuations", Noe Garcia, 28, said of the lines.

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City spokeswoman Kim Womack said at a news conference Thursday that the chemical is found in asphalt. It causes respiratory tract, eye, and skin burns.

Q. What if I showered?

Garcia said he spent his morning standing in line for bottled water for his family and for his mother at a nursing home. Upward of 24 gallons of it may have entered the water supply.

"Governor Abbott's top priority is a transparent response and the safety of Corpus Christi residents, and our office will continue to provide any and all support to remedy this situation as quickly as possible", Abbott's office said.

"It's things like this that make us wonder, why do we have to pay taxes? Why do we have to pay a water bill" and not get refunded?, Garcia said.

City councilman Michael Hunter told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times early Thursday that it was unlikely that the leaked chemicals were concentrated enough to do harm, but that officials must take every precaution. Corpus Christi's prior water problems include a boil-water advisory in May, the third in a year, that lasted two weeks and which officials said at the time was largely a precautionary measure after nitrogen-rich runoff from rain flowed into the water system. They hope this list will answer many of your questions.

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