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Chemical Backfeeding Leaves Corpus Christi Residents Without Clean Water


An incident in Corpus Christi, Texas, has led to the contamination of the entire community’s water supply. First recognized by an industrial plant worker while washing his hands, the contamination lends a shining, shimmering quality to the tap water in the region. The contamination could directly affect more than 300,000 people along the Gulf of Mexico.

Officials released an advisory on Wednesday instructing residents not to drink their tap water or to bathe in it. In fact, a press release noted that “only bottled water should be used for all drinking, beverage and food preparation (including baby formula and juice), making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes or clothes, washing hands, and bathing until further notice.”

Corpus Christi Residents

Unlike less severe boil water notices, this advisory stated that boiling, freezing, or disinfecting the water with chemicals like chlorine would not necessarily make the water safe to consume. The initial cause of the contamination took some time to determine, as Mayor Dan McQueen was insistent that the water filtration system that serves the city had not failed.

The cause of the contamination was determined to be a failed backflow preventer at an industrial plant in the area. This led to chemical backfeeding in the water supply. The contaminant that has officials on high alert is Indulin AA-86, an asphalt-emulsifying agent that looks like a viscous, amber liquid. It can cause eye and skin burns, an allergic reaction, and damage to the respiratory tract and digestive system.

Extensive tests of the local water supply were sent to Austin, the state capital, for further evaluation. In the meantime, families in the city flocked to supermarkets and grocery stores to stock up on bottled water. Unfortunately, due to the sharp increase in demand many stores quickly ran out of bottled water, leaving some families out of luck.

Due to the disruption, many schools have canceled classes while action plans are outlined. Providing enough clean drinking water for the students and faculty may cause too much of a burden on the school systems in Corpus Christi. Some schools decided to continue with classes for the time being, handing out bottled water and hand sanitizer while their supplies last.

If you live in the area and currently have a Pelican Water whole house filter installed in your home, we recommend that you swap out the traditional sediment filter with a carbon block. This will directly target the chemical in question and make the water in your home much safer and cleaner. The whole house filter will help on its own, but taking the extra step of including the carbon filter is the best course of action.

Let’s say you don’t currently have a water filtration system installed, or you’re simply looking for additional drinking water protection. What should you do? Pelican Water advises that concerned families invest in our NSF-certified 2-stage countertop filtration system or 3-stage Purifier System to filter out harmful chemicals like Indulin AA-86.

Corpus Christi is far from the only major city that has experienced a serious water contamination in the last few years. In addition to the ongoing lead crisis in Flint, Contaminants have been identified in major water systems in Charleston, West Virginia; Jackson, Mississippi; and Washington DC. If you have questions about your water quality call Pelican Water at 877-842-1635 to speak with a water specialist. Don’t take a gamble on the safety of your drinking water – be sure with a Pelican Water filtration system.

Pelican Combo System Salt-Free Water Softener Whole-House Water Filter