Failed water tests result in notice for Tuckerman residents

TUCKERMAN, AR (KAIT) – The City of Tuckerman recently put its residents on notice about another setback with the water supply. In September the Tuckerman Water Plant failed to submit monthly samples to the state health department. Mayor Larry Bowen says the water is still safe despite having to notify residents about an administrative violation. He says it was simply an oversight, as the city continues its efforts to clear up issues with murky water.

"The water here has never been really great," Lisa Franks said.

Franks has lived in Tuckerman since she was 16-years-old, but she began noticing the water looked less than clear about five years ago.

"You'd have a bathtub full of water, and it looks like mud, muddy water," she said.

In July Franks says she could no longer stomach seeing what came from her faucet, so she had the city shut off her water service. "I wasn't paying for that nasty stuff," Franks said. "Stuff you can't drink, I'm not paying for."

"Just give me time. I told them I'd fix it if they just give me time," Mayor Larry Bowen said.

Bowen oversaw some final repairs to the water plant's clarifier Thursday morning. A sprocket was installed to the scraper drive, which keeps mineral deposits settled at the bottom. The city also repaired the drive that mixes chemicals that treat the water. Bowen says residents should see a difference once these key pieces of equipment are installed.

"We're going to look at some more repairs to the water plant in the near future," he said. "Right now, we're taking it a step at a time and doing the best we can."

Loosened mineral deposits of iron and manganese likely caused the brown discoloration, but recent maintenance has cleared up a lot of concern for the community. Heath Vaughan, the new operations manager, insists the water is safe, but says nothing comes with a quick fix.

"It didn't get this way overnight, and we can't solve it overnight," Vaughan said. "But we can start and start working towards getting us back to being a viable and sustainable system."

Vaughan adds that the water plant is in the process of creating a 10-year master plan. The plan will help identify the most crucial needs for the 30-year-old facility and also provide solutions to address them.

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