The Times-Tribune

Corpus Christi lifts water ban after tests find no corrosive

None of 28 samples tested positive for contaminat­ion.

- BY JUAN LOZANO

HOUSTON — 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,” Mr. McQueen said.

None of the 28 drinking water samples the Environmen­tal Protection Agency reviewed tested positive for Indulin AA -86, an asphaltemu­lsifying 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 leased to Ergon Asphalt and Emulsions by oil refiner Valero 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.

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

EPA spokesman David Gray said Saturday night the federal agency would begin an in-depth investigat­ion of the leak “and take appropriat­e action” as soon as it finished with the water testing.

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