Residents in Corpus Christi, Texas warned not to use tap water

Residents in the city of Corpus Christi, Texas have been warned that an unknown chemical has made it into their water system and should not to use tap water until an investigation is complete.

The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reported that city officials released statement stating that residents should only use bottled water for cooking and drinking until the safety of the tap water can be confirmed.

Officials said a back-flow incident that occurred late Wednesday in the industrial district is to blame for the unknown chemical in the water.

“The city is working the incident with industry, state regulators and consultants to correct the situation as quickly as possible,” the release said.

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City Councilman Michael Hunter told the Corpus Christi Caller-Times that it’s unlikely the chemicals are concentrated enough to do harm, but officials are “taking every precaution that we can.”

The city warned that “boiling, freezing, filtering, adding chlorine or other disinfectants, or letting the water stand will not make the water safe.”

“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,” the release said.

The warning, which went out at around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night, prompted a rush on water at grocery stores, where long lines formed with people pushing carts filled with packages of bottled water.

Corpus Christi has an aging infrastructure and in May the city issued a boil-water notice that lasted two weeks.

There have been no reports of illness or sickness from residents due to the water.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.