Binghamton — The Binghamton Water Filtration Plant was evacuated Monday afternoon after an employee of the Rochester based Thatcher Chemical Company, entered hydrofluorosilicic acid into an incorrect containment unit.
The water supply was not affected by this error and the plant continued to function during the evacuation. The roadways surrounding the plant remained closed until 4 p.m.
“The response of our emergency workers and water plant officials should be commended,” said Mayor Matthew Ryan. “This accident has prompted an internal review of standards and safety precautions. We are fortunate that no one was injured from this mishap and our water supply was not harmed.”
Firefighters and emergency personnel evacuated six homes in the vicinity of the plant. They went door to door asking other neighbors to close doors and windows and remain inside. Three members of the Broome County Hazardous Materials Team entered into the facility to assess the reaction.
The acid entered and had mixed with the base sodium hypochlorite, which created chlorine gas. The soluble chlorine vapor was removed as officials misted the air with water. The water was then drained into a containment tank at the Water Treatment Facility.
Over 25 emergency service workers responded to the event. The Department of Environmental Conservation was on site to monitor cleanup and interview employees.