AUSTIN, Texas, Dec 15 (Reuters) - The Texas city of Corpus Christi has told its nearly 320,000 residents to stop using tap water due to possible contamination from an industrial chemical leak, city officials said on Thursday.
The leak involves an oil-based chemical, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times newspaper quoted a city official as saying. The city has consulted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and found the chemical is not poisonous and not expected to be a health hazard, the newspaper reported.
The city said in a statement that late on Wednesday "an unknown chemical substance may have contaminated the City of Corpus Christi drinking water due to a recent back-flow incident in the industrial district." The statement did not provide details about the incident.
The Gulf of Mexico coastal city, home to oil and petrochemicals operations and a large port, asked residents to avoid using tap water until it can confirm water safety.
It said to use only bottled water, and that for tap water "boiling, freezing, filtering, adding chlorine or other disinfectants, or letting the water stand will not make the water safe."
Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Will Dunham