Dec 18 Corpus Christi lifted a four-day ban on
drinking tap water on Sunday when authorities deemed it to be
safe despite a chemical leak that forced most of the Texas
city's residents to rely on bottled water and prompted the
closures of schools and restaurants.
Residents of the Gulf of Mexico city were told on Wednesday
to stop using tap water for drinking, food preparation and
bathing. About 85 percent of Corpus Christi, with a population
of about 320,000, was under the restrictions.
After investigating the possible leak of up to 24 gallons
(91 liters) of an asphalt emulsifier, the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
and the city determined the water was safe to use again, city
spokeswoman Kim Womack said in a statement.
The chemical, called Indulin AA-86, can cause eye and skin
burns, respiratory tract irritation and damage to the digestive
systems. But it is not known to be carcinogenic, according to
The city has said the chemical may have contaminated Corpus
Christi water due to a "back-flow incident" in the city's
Valero Energy Corp, which operates an asphalt
terminal in the area, said it believed the possible backflow
problem came from third-party operations in the area of its
It was not immediately clear if the water had been
(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Alan Crosby)