Arp city worker hopes to keep asbestos levels from rising in wat - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Arp city worker hopes to keep asbestos levels from rising in water supply

Arp water being flushed after testing by the city's public works director.  (Source: KLTV News Staff) Arp water being flushed after testing by the city's public works director. (Source: KLTV News Staff)
City of Arp water tower. (Source: KLTV News Staff) City of Arp water tower. (Source: KLTV News Staff)
Lonnie Petty- Assistant Director, City of Arp Public Works. (Source: KLTV News Staff) Lonnie Petty- Assistant Director, City of Arp Public Works. (Source: KLTV News Staff)
ARP, TX (KLTV) -

Lonnie Petty, Assistant Public Works Director for the City of Arp, was the first to notice something wrong with the city’s drinking water.

“Around July 26, we were out flushing and I noticed just a big glob of fiber,” says Petty. “You could tell it wasn’t normal, so I caught a sample of it, we had it tested, and it came back asbestos.”

Petty says that as soon as they found out, they notified the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. They came out the next day to collect their own sample. The TCEQ found that the city’s drinking water was well over the maximum contaminant level for asbestos.

Petty says that the city hasn’t been dealing with the problem for that long.

“Testing on the 26th was the first time we had it come through,” says Petty. “We’ve never had anything before that.”

Now Petty is working to keep the situation under control.

“We’ve changed the chemicals to keep the pipe together, so that it’s not deteriorating as bad,” says Petty. “But the only way you’re going to fix the problem is to get them out of the ground and replace them.”

The city says that pipe replacement is the plan, and asbestos pipes are already being replaced with PVC pipes in some areas.

“We want it completely gone,” says Arp Mayor Terry Lowry. “We’re already filling out paperwork or in the process of filling out paper work to acquire some type of monetary backing.”

The city plans to replace the five miles of asbestos pipes first, and then replace the remainder of their water pipes, but no plans have been finalized. 

Arp city leaders stress this is not an emergency. They say there is no need to use an alternate water supply.

Related: High levels of asbestos found in Arp drinking water

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