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saquonbrady t1_jdsl90d wrote

Please give a visitor some advice about the chemical spill.


I was supposed to go to Philadelphia for a work assignment next week. I am just a little apprehensive now, because of the chemical spill news. Is it a bad time to go? Can I still shower at the hotel? Maybe I’m being over reactionary, but I just wanted this subs opinion on whether I should try to beg my work to reschedule this assignment or not? You words would means a lot to me! Thank you


[deleted] t1_jdspx05 wrote

Shower, yes. Drinking should be fine by next week. But that's a guess. Pay attention to warnings being issued.


ThankMrBernke t1_jdtnsrf wrote

You're fine. As of right now, the Philadelphia Water Department and the other authorities are saying the water is safe to drink, but they are monitoring the situation. So far the response from the authorities seems to be appropriate IMO.

To put in context, the spill was about 8,000 gallons (about the size of a large fuel truck) into the Delaware River, which discharges 100,000 gallons a second. However, the spill was not very far up the river from a treatment plant that serves a large portion of the city. They're monitoring the situation, as they should be in a case like this, but the guidance right now is that water is safe to drink but people should stay alert for further developments.

You're definitely fine to shower. If the situation develops and you shouldn't drink the water, your hotel will provide bottled water.


saquonbrady t1_je0ni13 wrote

Have you heard any updates on this?


ThankMrBernke t1_je0nudo wrote

They keep the twitter page in the link updated. PWD reports the wate is safe to drink currently


saquonbrady t1_je0oj9e wrote

I read that but I’m worried how this may affect the future by next week


ThankMrBernke t1_je0zn7c wrote

You will be fine. 100,000 gallons of water move through the Delaware every second. The spill was 8,000 gallons. The concern was that the spill, while small in comparison to the river, could be in high enough concentration that some water could enter a treatment plan a few miles downstream of where the spill was. I am not a hydrologist or something, but I'd bet money on the river washing any final traces of the spill away from the area near the intake valves (which they are constantly monitoring with extra diligence and testing because of the spill - and they haven't had cause for concern yet) .

Honestly the story here is how the city officials fucked things up and got everybody panicked and told them to buy bottled water, than retracted that statement 2 hours later. Ever since then, they've said consistently that the water is safe. But by then the fear had spread and people were scared the government was telling the truth or not, if they heard the new news at all. Tbh, I think somebody jumped the gun on sending out the warning.


rcher87 t1_jdtibcb wrote

My very real feeing is that if the water isn’t fully safe by next week we’ll hear MUCH more about this in the coming days/week.

And also the whole region will run out of bottled water (lol? Kind of?)

So while showering sounds like it’s fine now (and technically they’re saying ingestion “shouldn’t cause any short term issues”, so technically we could drink the water now if we wanted to), if there’s any hint of any issues for more than another day or so I expect a full uprising - think about the restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels whose businesses are on the line. Not even just residents, everyone will be throwing a FIT.

(The spill doesn’t impact the majority of the city but the affected plant does serve Center City and South Philly, and a few other neighborhoods it seems - again, some wealthy places with wealthy businesses.)


saquonbrady t1_jdtllo5 wrote

Interesting. I’m apprehensive at the moment. Hopefully we get an update by Wednesday cause I’ll be in Chicago via la and I’m looking to just hop over to Philly without coming back to la


rcher87 t1_jdv5rjg wrote

I’m apprehensive too, and I’ll be in South Philly all week (cause I live here lol), so they’d better frickin update me before Wednesday!!


saquonbrady t1_je0n9dd wrote

Have you heard any updates about this yet?


rcher87 t1_je0uxqt wrote

r/Philadelphia has a great mega-thread with continuous updates, I encourage you to check it out!!!

As for where things stand right now:

  • Water is safe to drink and use until at least Wednesday night at 11:59pm
  • They’ll keep testing and updating us regularly, any threat/concern should pass within a week (not sure if this meant a week from the spill AKA Friday or a week from when I read that AKA next Monday)
  • Really, the water is fine. Especially for showering, cleaning, dishes, etc. Even if they find the chemicals, the water is fine for those purposes.

mjh215 t1_jdta2s9 wrote

From what I've gathered (I live near it), the spill, while not good, is not really a toxic material, some latex coating and the amount wasn't that much. Like one train car's worth. I seriously doubt it'll be an issue. I hate to say it but considering how scummy people are, 8,000 gallons of paints and such are probably dumped in that river normally as it is 1 gallon at a time by people pouring stuff out when they are done DIY projects. Watch the news tomorrow, if anything big is actually happening you'll hear about it, otherwise, continue with your trip plans.