Water Ban Lifted in Corpus Christi, Texas


A nearly four-day ban on drinking the water in Corpus Christi, Texas, was lifted Sunday after test results showed no contamination due to 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 could have contaminated the city’s water supply.

The EPA said there have been seven “unconfirmed” reports of symptoms possibly 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.

Officials in Corpus Christi began Sunday to dismantle distribution centers that had been set up to give water to residents, said City Manager Margie Rose.

The mayor cautioned residents to be conservative in their water use to avoid overtaxing the system after water tanks were flushed in parts of the city, which has about 300,000 residents and is located along the Texas Gulf Coast.

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

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

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