City and school officials in the small town of Arp, TX are extremely concerned after recent tests found exceedingly high levels of asbestos in their water. According to regulatory agencies and leading scientists, ingestion of asbestos can cause gastrointestinal cancer, particularly colon cancer. Unfortunately, the estimated cost to fix contamination on this level is in the millions, and most small towns like this do not have enough immediate funds available to move forward with repairs. The asbestos is most likely the result of outdated infrastructure and water lines utilizing asbestos-cement water and/or sewer pipes that have not been updated since the 1940s. Arp’s Mayor, Terry Lowry, claims he has been working with officials for months to remedy the contamination, but all options will be expensive and time-consuming.
Water Donations Help Local Students
The local school district’s superintendent, Dwight Thomas, wants nothing to do with Arp’s water and is discouraging students from drinking it. As part of a short-term solution, Thomas has been providing some of his own tap water to students since he lives outside of the affected area. Nestle Waters also donated four pallets of bottled water from its Hawkins, TX location. Although, school officials believe this generous donation will only last for about two weeks. The district is hoping to find other water sources in the meantime.
Asbestos Contamination in Texas Water
Sadly, this is not the first report showing high levels of asbestos in Texas drinking water. Last year the small town Devine, outside San Antonio, had similar test results from its water supply. Many of the local residents switched to bottled water and were concerned about the health hazards. It is well-known that inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause fatal diseases like asbestosis and mesothelioma, but health risks from ingestion of asbestos by swallowing water are less publicized.