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Water ban lifted after Corpus Christi chemical contamination

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By JACK WEATHERLY

A water ban was lifted in Corpus Christi, Texas on Sunday as officials seek to determine what caused the leak of a chemical last week from a plant operated in part by Flowood-based Ergon Asphalt and Emulsions.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Environmental Quality Commission said in a Sunday release that none of 28 drinking samples from the city water supply tested positive for Indulin AA-86 that reached unacceptable levels.

The agencies will monitor the water system for “the next few days.”

Cause of the contamination is still under investigation by officials with the city and the TEQC, according to reports in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

Up to 24 gallons of the chemical, Indulin AA-86, an asphalt emulsifying agent, evidently leaked into the Gulf Coast city’s water system from a Valero Marketing and Supply plant, in which Ergon operates.

Ergon said in a release on Saturday that the Valero plant supplies water to Ergon’s operation, but the Mississippi company’s operation is “not directly connected to the city’s water supply line.”

The chemical, along with hydrochloric acid, back-flowed through a separate water line that feeds an Ergon tank holding the solution, the company said in the release.

Bill Miller, an Ergon spokesman, was quoted quoted earlier by the Associated Press, as saying the company had a back-flow prevention device in place. However, government officials said they could find no such device.

Seven reports of possibly related symptoms were not confirmed, the agencies said.

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