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Acid spill causes evacuation at water treatment plant on North Side

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Friday, June 27, 2014, 3:42 p.m.

No one was hurt in an acid leak at a water treatment plant in Pittsburgh's North Side on Friday, officials said.

Fire and EMS officials were called to the ALCOSAN plant on Preble Avenue shortly after 1 p.m. for a report of sulfuric acid leaking from a 1,500-gallon tank, public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said. Sulfuric acid is a highly corrosive mineral acid that's used in wastewater processing.

The acid spilled into a container built into the system as a safety feature, she said. She estimated about 200 to 500 gallons of acid spilled into the container.

Officials evacuated four people from the building, Toler said.

“It was truly a tank failure,” said ALCOSAN Executive Director Arletta Scott Williams. “It just ruptured.”

ALCOSAN hired a contractor to remove the material and clean up the spill, and will investigate the incident, she said. The container the acid spilled into is designed to hold up to 162 percent of the contents of the tank, she said.

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