City working to remove asbestos from water pipes

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 4:59 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MARKED TREE, Ark. (KAIT) - After years of trying, the city of Marked Tree has found new funding to help deal with asbestos in their water pipes.

Marked Tree Mayor Danny Johnson said the city got a federal USDA grant worth $500,000 to pay for the new pipes, which desperately need it.

“Well, we got lines underground that have been in there for many years probably over 50 years we got lines that have asbestos in it,” Johnson said.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate mineral, and according to the National Cancer Institute, it has been classified as a known human carcinogen. That is why the city makes sure their water is safe to drink.

“We take a test every month and it is good right now,” Johnson said.

Everyone is exposed to asbestos at some time during their life. Low levels of asbestos are present in air, water, and soil, but it is all about the levels, which are not bad right now as people like Rachael Pitts say they have never had an issue.

“I have never had a bad experience, I have always liked tap water,” Pitts said.

Johnson said they always make sure it is safe by using the right chemicals like chlorine and fluoride, and this is keeping the water safe, but locals like Jacob Rhinehart said they taste the chemicals.

“Ever since I was little the water has always tasted funny and you could just smell all the chemicals that are in it,” Rhinehart said.

The $500,000 upgrade will save the city money on repairs as they hope to start construction on the new pipes in January.