Arp ISD takes extra precautions after high levels of asbestos reported in city's water

Arp ISD takes extra precautions after high levels of asbestos reported in city's water
Nestle donated around 70,000 Ozarka bottles of water to Arp ISD. (Source KLTV News Staff)
Nestle donated around 70,000 Ozarka bottles of water to Arp ISD. (Source KLTV News Staff)
Arp ISD is in the process of installing filtration systems on all drinking fountains and sinks used for cooking in the district. (Source: KLTV News Staff)
Arp ISD is in the process of installing filtration systems on all drinking fountains and sinks used for cooking in the district. (Source: KLTV News Staff)

ARP, TX (KLTV) - Holding up a sample of water collected from a sink at the Arp Junior High School, the district's superintendent says it looks like lake water.

It's the first week of school for Arp ISD students, and after the city reported high levels of asbestos in their drinking water last month, some were worried.

"It makes me feel unsafe that I've been drinking this water," says Hannah Vanwinkle, an Arp ISD student. "It kind of made me feel like, man, I'm just going to go thirsty all day."

Arp ISD Superintendent Dwight Thomas wasn't going to let that happen. After Nestle offered to donate cases of water to the district he personally went to retrieve them.

"I get a call the next day, 'hey we've got four palettes or more of water if you'd like come get them,'" says Thomas "I loaded up the trailer went over and I got four pallets."

The company donated around 70,000 bottles of water, which the district is already putting to use. The city says that despite the asbestos levels, drinking the city's water is safe, but Thomas isn't willing to take a chance.

"It's very discolored water so obviously there's impurities in it," says Thomas. "Whether it's safe, whether it's not safe, I just don't want our kids drinking it."

Along with providing bottled water to the elementary, middle, and high school, the district has also began installing filtration systems on drinking fountains and sinks used for cooking.

"September first we'll have three water coolers in all three campuses, so, really, every child and every staff member shouldn't have to worry about drinking the water," says Thomas.

Thomas says he knows the city is doing what they can, but the students are his number one priority.

"We're very concerned about our kids I want to be able to tell a parent hey we're doing everything we can to keep your children safe," says Thomas. "So if it takes them getting water from my house, then so be it."

Thomas asks that families who live outside of the city limits send their children to school with drinking water from home.

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