Mayor: Philly drinking water is safe

Photo/Mark Zimmaro
Photo/Mark Zimmaro

Mayor Jim Kenney joined by City officials declared today that Philadelphia’s water remains safe to drink and use. No further advisory will be needed as models have shown that the potential threat from the March 24 spill along a tributary of the Delaware River in Bristol Township is passing.

“I am grateful that no residents were exposed to unsafe chemicals in the city’s tap water following the spill,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This is a result of the swift action, caution, and preparedness of City Departments and partners as well as their commitment to ensuring the well-being and health of all Philadelphians.”

This update is informed by the results of water sampling conducted this morning, Tuesday, March 28 and hydraulic modeling that accounts for rainfall received in the Delaware River watershed on Monday, March 27, and Tuesday, March 28 as well as the flow and tide of the river. Over 100 additional samples taken by PWD, regional water utilities, the U.S. Coast Guard, PA DEP, and U.S. EPA found no detectable levels of chemicals associated with the spill.

With this data showing no threat to public health, the City is ending the ongoing advisories about monitoring at the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant.

Philadelphia’s drinking water remains safe to drink and use. No contaminants have been found in PWD’s water system at any point since the spill.

Next Steps

  • Out of an abundance of caution and in coordination with PA DEP, PWD will continue enhanced monitoring of the Delaware River and the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant for spill-related material. Information related to this incident, including water quality sampling results, will be made available online.
  • PWD will conduct robust after-action evaluations and give direct attention to the infrastructure priorities and other long-term measures that are needed to strengthen the resiliency of Philadelphia’s drinking water system. These priorities are articulated in PWD’s Water Revitalization Plan. Read more here.


  • A synthetic latex product spilled from the Trinseo facility along a tributary of the Delaware River near Bristol Township, Bucks County, 13 miles north of the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant intake, shortly before midnight on Friday, March 24, 2023.
  • The product spilled is used in making products such as headlight covers. The primary substances that were tested for were butyl acrylate, ethyl acrylate, and methyl methacrylate.
  • PWD was notified by the Delaware Valley Early Warning System at 12:37 a.m. on Saturday, March 25, 2023.
  • In response, PWD shut intakes to the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant as a precaution and worked diligently with partners to institute a rigorous monitoring plan to determine whether any contaminated water entered the Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant.
  • The Baxter Drinking Water Treatment Plant is one of three main water treatment facilities that provide water to the city’s residents.

Stay Informed

  • To get alerts about drinking water quality, sign up for ReadyPhiladelphia by texting READYPHILA to 888-777 for free phone alerts or customize free text and email alerts by visiting the Office of Emergency Management’s website at
  • For official updates from the Philadelphia Water Department, follow @PhillyH2O.