Residents of Corpus Christi in Texas should avoid using tap water due to a possible contamination by an unknown chemical, officials said. The incident occurred late Wednesday and was caused by a recent back-flow incident in the area's industrial district, according to a city news release.
Officials recommend not using tap water at all until results can confirm its safety as a precaution. Residents are advised to use only bottled water.
"Only bottled water should be used for all drinking, beverage and food preparation (including baby formula and juice), making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes or clothes, washing hands, and bathing until further notice," the release states.
Residents are advised not to try to boil the water or treat it any other way.
The City of Corpus Christi received a call about dirty water near the downtown area in the afternoon, city spokeswoman Kim Womack said. Crews investigating traced it back to an area between two industrial companies, which the city is not naming at this time. It appears that a backflow preventer either failed or was inadequate.
The chemical in question is an oil-based petroleum chemical, city spokeswoman Kim Womack said. The city has consulted with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the substance is not poisonous and is not expected to be a health hazard, she said. She added that the city is working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the CDC