Chemical mix forces Minn. water plant evacuation - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Chemical mix forces Minn. water plant evacuation


COLUMBIA HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) - A water treatment facility in Columbia Heights had to be evacuated after two chemicals were accidentally mixed together and caused a reaction.

Assistant Fire Chief John Larkin says workers notified the Columbia Heights Fire Department just after 1 p.m. Tuesday that hydrochloric acid and caustic soda had been combined at the plant. When mixed, the two chemicals cause excessive heat. The heat caused the building's sprinkler system to go off.

Larkin tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press all employees were immediately evacuated and no injuries were reported. He did not know how the chemicals were incorrectly mixed.

The plant is the City of Minneapolis' water filtration plant. Minneapolis officials say drinking water was never at risk of contamination and that the city's tap water is safe to drink.


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