Fruithurst residents get answers to water tests

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FRUITHURST, Ala (WIAT) — The city of Fruithurst got some answers Tuesday night.

It’s all after a big study of the water in the county and if it correlates to a cancer cluster.

Scientists at Auburn University have gathered dozens of ground water and soil samples to see if the water is contaminated. After a long study, the answer is yes, some waters are contaminated.

Tuesday nights meeting at Fruithurst Elementary was very detailed because the majority of people in this community want answers.

“My grandson, he’s had cancer and I want to know. I have 7 grandkids total,” said Charles Hunt, a resident of Fruithurst. 

Scientists at Auburn University released those results.

After 26 water samples and 18 soil samples, it was found that the municipal water is ok. It’s the private wells that contain metal.

“If you have a lifetime exposure to those toxic chemicals, you may potentially have health consequences example like cancers,” said Dr. Ming-Kuo Lee with Auburn University.  

Many chemicals they tested proved to be over the EPA limit like radon, barium, arsenic, and lead.

So now that they have results… what’s the next step?

“Hook more people up to municipal water to connect them to that and do reverse osmosis water filtration systems. Do more research,” said Christy Hiett, the principal of Fruithurst Elementary School. 

And to get surveys going around all 700 plus homes in the area.

“We want to see how far reaching the cancer is and to look at other areas because some of the things we discovered cause more than just leukemia and lymphoma,” said Hiett.

There’s still more to be done but for some, they said it’s a start.

“I appreciate what they’re doing, they’re working hard. I don’t have all the answers but no one does,” said Hunt. 

“To understand it is a lot. Our family has been affected. We have a child with leukemia in our family so we do have som background on it. I was really interested from the Probland plant. I think that needs a lot more investigation,” said Tina Holcombe, from Fruithurst.

The Probland plant that is near the area did showed contamination in water according to researchers.

They say there is much more work to be done. 
 

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