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Bielsko-Biala. Poisonous styrene in water pipes. The prosecutor’s office launched an investigation

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In a part of Bielsko-Biała (Silesian Voivodeship), dirty, foul-smelling water flowed from the taps for several days. Sanepid forbade its use, residents used water tankers. The sanitary inspection showed that styrene, a poisonous substance, got into the water supply. The prosecutor’s office has launched an investigation into the matter.

The Bielsko-Biała-Południe District Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into contaminated water in the municipal water supply. The investigation was taken over by the Bielsko District Prosecutor’s Office. As her spokeswoman Agnieszka Michulec says, it is about Article 182, paragraph 1 of the Penal Code, i.e. significant environmental pollution, but the directions of conduct are to be broader.

health department found styrene in water. It’s a poisonous substance – says Michulec. The investigation is at an early stage. No one has been charged so far. The prosecutor’s office did not reach any potential victims.

According to the prosecutor, the presence of the substance in the water was not the result of deliberate action, but most likely some technical error during the renovation of the main. Styrene is used for this type of work.

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According to the Central Institute for Labor Protection – National Research Institute, styrene is irritating to the skin and eyes, as well as depressing the central nervous system and is probably carcinogenic. “Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure,” the CIOP website reads.

“It smelled like butapren.” The health department has banned the use of water

Problems with running water were noticed by residents of a part of the city center last Wednesday, March 27. – You could smell butapren – one of the residents of Bielsko told us. The water was yellowish in color. People were worried how long it would take because they couldn’t even wash their hands in tap water.

On March 29, the State Poviat Sanitary Inspector in Bielsko-Biała informed that “due to a change in the color and smell of water in the water supply network in the city of Bielsko-Biała, he asked the water company AQUA SA in Bielsko-Biała to provide appropriate explanations and to provide a substitute source drinking water supply.”

Sanepid took water samples for testing in the facilities at Orzeszkowa, Wałachowa, Zofii Kossak-Szczucka and Skośna streets. The next day, after receiving partial results, he stated that the water was unfit for consumption.

“The reports from laboratory analyzes available so far show that the tested water has a color and smell that do not meet the requirements” – it was announced on the Sanepid website.

The research was continued, and water tankers were parked at eight addresses in the city.

On April 1, the health department reported that the water was contaminated with styrene. In the next communiqué on that day, he expired the decision on the lack of suitability of the water for consumption “with the proviso that in the event of a foreign smell, the water from the internal water supply system must be released until the water is completely replaced and the odor nuisance disappears”.

“The source of pollution was the modernized main line”

On April 1, Aqua issued a statement in which it explained that the source of water pollution was the modernized main line from the Wapienica district of Bielsko. “It was launched on Wednesday, March 29. Therefore, it is not possible for anyone in the city to feel the effects of the failure before this date” – we read in it.

Aqua assures that they received the first signals from residents about polluted water less than an hour and a half after the launch of the main. “After these signals, it was immediately taken out of use. At the same time, we started an action to inform the city’s inhabitants about the failure via local media. The employees of the company immediately took actions related to flushing the network, which are still being carried out.”

Main photo source: TVN24

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