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Muskogee working to overhaul pipe system after constant breaks and health concerns

Posted at 5:59 PM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 18:59:17-04

MUSKOGEE, Okla. -- Verna Tollison has lived in East Muskogee for 35 years.

She's used to a constant change in water pressure, as she says line breaks have become the new normal.

"Usually when one breaks another one will break too, a door or two down. She just had a break about two doors down about four months ago. This is the second time they've fixed this one," Tollison said.

On one street Muskogee homeowners waited four days for repairs, despite three crews from the city working on leaks around the clock.

"I have family that works for the city and yes they are overworked. They're booked because the system is getting old," Tollison said.

The city is about to start work on a new line after approval on an Oklahoma Water Resources Board loan. Ten million dollars will go toward a new line from the Honor Heights tower to the water plant to prevent water from sitting for ten days before use.

"A lot of our water lines are old. Some of the neighborhoods are at the end of the line so they don't get flushed out as often as some of the others," homeowner Janey Boydston said.

There's new urgency after the water system recently violated drinking expectations, going just above the DEQ standard.

Some who drink this water in excess over years can experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system. There may also be an increased risk of getting cancer. Public Works said if this was an emergency they would have notified residents immediately.

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