Barling City Administrator Responds To Communications Concerns Following Water Main Break

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BARLING (KFSM)- After not having water for more than 12 hours this week, the city of Barling responded Thursday (July 16) to complaints from residents who say they weren't just left without water, they were left without answers.

City Administrator Mike Tanner said the city never expected something like the water line break to happen. About 500 homes were without water completely and many others had extremely low water pressure.

“We have an auto-dialer system on our utility software, but there were so many calls that, for lack of a better word, it blew it up,” Tanner said.

Tanner said the city is already working to get a better auto-dialer system. They are also working on other ways to make communicating with residents easier.

“Since the break, I know it`s late, but better late than never, we have created a Barling Facebook, so we can notify [residents] via Facebook, you know the best way we can,” Tanner said.

Tanner said the city of Barling already has a website, but for now it is a blank page.

“We had barlingar.com, but since we`re a municipality, we need a government domain, so we have applied for our ‘.gov’ domain, and we`re waiting on the okay on that,” Tanner said.

He said the website should be up and running by the end of summer.

5NEWS also asked Tanner to talk about the safety of asbestos water pipes like the one that broke in Barling.

“It`s intertwined on the exterior with asbestos,” Tanner said. “It`s not on the inside, so you don`t have to worry about the safety of the water.”

Tanner said the city plans to replace the 22 feet of water line that runs along Highway 22 in the next five years.

“There won`t be any exposure to asbestos, and the new pipe will go alongside or above [the old one,]” Tanner said.