Leaders say it could still be a few more days until the water is safe to drink after it was contaminated with a chemical found in firefighting foam.By Royce Jones

MCKEESPORT, Pa. (KDKA) — More than 500 homes in the 10th Ward of McKeesport are still without clean drinking, cooking and bathwater.

On Wednesday, employees from the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County continued flushing operations and went door to door to collect individual water samples. Those samples are being driven to a testing lab in Lancaster to help expedite the process.

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Leaders believe the water may be contaminated with a chemical found in fire fighting foam due after a fire at an auto body shop several days ago.

And despite efforts on behalf of almost every branch of local government, Pennsylvania Representative Austin Davis said restoring the water to safe status could take a few more days.

“I know it’s not the easiest thing to do when you’re going through this situation, but we’re just asking people to be patient. We want to make sure people have access to their water as quickly as we can. But we also want to make sure it’s safe and safety is our number one priority,” Davis said.

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According to Rep. Davis, leaders hope to have the issue resolved by the end of the week. The suspected contamination is still contained to the lower 10th Ward.

Meanwhile, water buffalos are accessible at the sewage plant on Atlantic Avenue, Perry Street and R&W Oil. Additionally, some residents have been forced to bathe at the Mckeesport High School. The showers there will remain open to the public.

And on Wednesday, Mayor Michael Cherepko announced a shuttle service will be transporting residents to the high school so the showers can be more accessible.

The mayor’s office posted the following schedule below:

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“Busing will take place between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon and then 3 and 7 p.m. The bus will pick up any Tenth Ward resident by utilizing an Atlantic Avenue route. Anyone who would like to utilize this service, please stand anywhere along Atlantic Avenue at exactly 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5, p.m., and 6 p.m. Any children must be accompanied by an adult.”