Chemical leak in town's water supply was week before public knew

The EPA tested for Indulin AA-86, the trade name for an emulsifier used in asphalt production, with several methods and did not find the chemical in the water supply.

Officials said that none of the 28 drinking water samples analysed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tested positive for the contaminant.

"Now!" As of Friday morning, about 15% of city residents were told they could use their water.

McQueen, who took office Tuesday after defeating an incumbent who came under fire for her handling of previous water crises, said there is no indication yet that the chemical leak at an asphalt plant contaminated the Gulf Coast city's water supply. It says the state environmental agency was notified around 3 p.m. Wednesday.

More than a half-dozen lawsuits have been filed against Valero and the privately held Flowood, Mississippi-based Ergon subsidiary, which makes paving and pavement preservation products. The Governor has directed the Texas Division of Emergency Management to coordinate shipments of drinking water to Corpus Christi to ensure the residents have access to a safe and clean water supply.

"Obviously we are concerned about that initial report, that this may have been known for seven days and it may have been going on for that long".

City councilman Michael Hunter told the 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. "Usually we do this in developing countries, as it's rare when we have a problem with drinking water in our own country".

A company spokesman stated that Valero and other companies were moving truckloads of bottled water to Corpus Christi to help alleviate the need.

"I feel there's a lot more information that we're not being told", Reba Gandara told the Corpus Christi-Caller Times.

"We don't know what happened", Assistant City Manager Mark Van Vleck said.

Operation Blessing moved quickly to deliver more than 20,000 bottles of water at First United Methodist Church of Corpus Christi.

The TCEQ said it has initiated "multiple measures", including sampling "to determine the extent of potential impact".

Please share this information with all the other people who drink this water, especially those who may not have received this notice directly (for example, people in apartments, nursing homes, schools, and businesses).

Industrial tanks may have released two chemicals into the Corpus Christi public water system, according to a news release from the Corpus Christi legislative delegation.

Boil-water notices were issued a year ago because of elevated levels of E. coli and another for low chlorine levels, the Caller-Times previously reported.

It said the pipe is not directly connected to the city's water main, but that the two are interconnected.

  • David Armstrong