NEW MARKET — When Joe Dodds turns on the faucet, the water comes out black.
“Right now, we’re getting a lot of junk in our water,” said Dodds, who has to change his home’s water filter every couple of weeks. “I just replaced the filter a week ago and the [water] was as black as black could be.”
A state infrastructure program will help New Market improve its aging water system. The town was awarded $700,000 in federal grant funding from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs to replace the cast iron water pipes that were installed in the 1930s.
Crews will install more than 1,100 linear feet of water main and add a media filter to the water treatment plant, meaning less in-home water filtering for residents.
“Quite a few people we’ve talked to are using a lot of bottled water for drinking,” Dodds, who serves as president of the town council, said. “Let’s face it: if you turned the faucet on and your water came out brown, would you want to drink it?”
The town plans to seek a state revolving fund loan for the $1.2 million needed to cover the rest of the project.
Work is currently slated to begin around July and wrap up in about November.
Residents will pay more on their water bills because of the project, but it hasn’t been determined how much rates will increase.
New Market was one of 12 rural communities to receive money for water system improvements. OCRA awarded more than $8 million in federal grants through the programs.