The Water Center at Penn Statement on Chemical Spill in Bucks County

March 27, 2023

The Water Center at Penn is disheartened to hear of the thousands of gallons of chemicals that were spilled into a Delaware River tributary late Friday evening, March 24th. The chemicals were released by Trinseo Altuglas, citing equipment failure as the cause of the spill, with potential impacts to residents and businesses in parts of Philadelphia as seen in the map here. Water users across the Delaware River Basin can see where their water comes from and view other threats to clean water in the map here, and additional resources and information can be found here.

This chemical spill, following in the footsteps of other recent high-visibility incidents throughout the country, highlights the need for safeguarding our drinking water sources, which is a requirement under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Our rivers, lakes, and streams, while resilient, are highly susceptible to pollution, with far reaching implications for humans and wildlife that depend on them. Residents of Philadelphia can learn moreabout where their tap water comes from in the Philadelphia Water Department’s 2021 Drinking Water Quality Report.

The Water Center would like to remind folks to avoid the spread of misinformation, and instead follow closely the updates and recommendations from the City of Philadelphia (City), Philadelphia Water Department (PWD), and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. The City and PWD have pinpointed the spill impact, and are conducting testing to ensure that high quality drinking water standards continue to be met.