City Response to Latex Product Spill into Delaware River Crisis Office


This post will be updated as information becomes available. Check back often.

latest update

March 27, 2023 at 11:00 am

Guidance for current residents

  • The Philadelphia Water Authority believes tap water from Baxter’s drinking water treatment plant will remain intact. Safe to drink and use until at least 11:59 PM today (Monday, March 27, 2023)
  • This spill could affect the water treated at the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant. Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant does not serve all of Philadelphia. His two other water plants in the city draw water from the Schuylkill River, which was unaffected by the spill. Residents can check if they live in potentially affected areas here (phillyh2o.info/spill-map).
  • The water currently available to our customers has been treated, tested and found to be safe for drinking, bathing, cooking and washing.
  • Residents who want to ensure water availability can now fill bottles and pitchers with tap water without risk.
  • Residents can sign up for free alerts from the city by texting READYPHILA at 888-777 or by visiting ReadyPhiladelphia’s signup page.
  • Residents can continue to stay up to date by following @PhillyH2O, @PhiladelphiaGov and @PhilaOEM on Twitter.

Additional Information

From river sampling to the end of the water treatment process, we will continue to share updates as more information becomes available.

The Philadelphia Water Authority continues to track the spill, so Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant staff can have confidence when the Delaware River intake is no longer affected.


March 26, 2023 at 3:30 PM

Guidance for current residents

Based on the latest hydraulic modeling and the latest sampling results and data, the Philadelphia Water Authority is confident. Tap water at Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant It is safe to drink and use until at least 11:59 PM Monday, March 27, 2023.

This updated time is based on how long it takes for river water entering Baxter’s intake to pass through treatment and water mains early Sunday morning to reach customers.

  • No need to buy water at this point. At this time, customers are allowed to fill their bottles and pitchers with tap water without any risk.
  • We provided an update (video) around 5pm today on Sunday, March 26, 2023.
  • The water currently available to customers was treated before the spill reached Philadelphia and is safe to drink and use for bathing, cooking and washing.
  • A previous recommendation that customers receiving water from the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant could choose to drink bottled water on March 26 was issued with due caution.
  • At this time, tests have not shown the presence of water affected by the spill in Baxter’s system.

Additional Information

We will continue to share updates as more information becomes available through sampling and monitoring of river conditions.

The Philadelphia Water Authority’s Tidal Spill Model Tool is being used to track the movement of contaminant plumes and signal when chemical spills are no longer affecting Philadelphia’s drinking water intakes.

Customers can use this map to see areas potentially affected by the spill: https://phillyh2o.info/spill-map.


March 26, 2023 at 11:30 am

PWD continues to monitor latex spills in the Delaware River that could affect drinking water in Philadelphia.

The City of Philadelphia held a press conference to address current information. You can view the meeting on the Philadelphia Emergency Management Agency Facebook feed.

A map of the areas potentially affected by the spill can be found here: https://phillyh2o.info/spill-map

Look up your address on the map to see if you are in an area affected if the city issues an advisory.

The following statement was issued by Michael Carroll, Deputy Managing Director of the City’s Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Sustainability (OTIS).

“As reported, a chemical spill occurred Friday night in Bristol Township, Bucks County, releasing pollutants into the Delaware River. We were made aware of this through the Warning System (EWS) and have since assessed the situation to understand the potential impact on the public.Early signs do not reveal contamination, but we are still We are monitoring the situation and conducting tests.

“At about 12:15 am this morning (Sunday), the intake of the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant opened at high tide on the Delaware River and closed at about 5:00 am. Avoid damage to our equipment to keep the water supply including fire safety and other needs.At this time, no contaminants have been found in our system. No. We expect no risk to exist by 2pm today.

“However, we cannot be 100% sure that tap water will not have traces of these chemicals throughout the afternoon, so we encourage the general public to consider switching to bottled water to further minimize risk. We want people to be aware of that. So we are notifying the public in our customer service areas that they do not want to drink or cook with tap water. We will update this information later this afternoon.

“I would like to reiterate that the health risks, if any, are very low. There are no acute effects associated with low level exposures. It means that you will not suffer from any medical condition. We anticipate no reason to seek medical attention in connection with this event.

“Additionally, there is no risk of skin exposure or fire hazards. Bathing or washing dishes is fine. Likewise, there is no concern of inhaling fumes at the levels we are evaluating.

“Again, this recommendation is being issued with due care to prevent theoretical and long-term public health impacts. can safely conduct its business.”


March 25, 6:03 p.m.

The Philadelphia Water Authority is monitoring a latex product spill that occurred along a tributary of the Delaware River in Bristol Township, Bucks County late Friday, March 24, 2023.

The spill did not affect treated drinking water provided to customers by the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant in Philadelphia.

PWD has been following the incident since being alerted and is using computer models to monitor the flow of the spill.

PWD staff are also monitoring the status of the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant on the Delaware River and have closed the intake at this time.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reported the incident to the Delaware Valley Early Warning System to alert water users of the Delaware River and is responding on the ground with local authorities.



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