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Mammoth Town Manager: City Pipes In Desperate Need Of Replacement

When a monsoon storm tore through the town of Mammoth in southeast Arizona earlier this month, it damaged roadways and the town’s water system.

The heavy rainfall caused a number of breaks in the system’s pipes, causing more than 1,200 residents to repeatedly lose access to water while repairs were made, according to the governor’s office.

Don Jones is Mammoth’s town manager, as well as the public works director. He says part of what made repairs so difficult is the old age of the pipes.

"We got it back, patched it, got it all fixed, water flowing again. Then we’d get another break," he said. "And then we’d get another break. And it just kept going on for about a week."

He says now the town’s water is turned back on and safe to drink, but that the old pipes are in desperate need of replacement.

"It’s really expensive replacing your pipes one break at a time," he said. "There’s probably close to a half a million dollars in actual damages."

On Monday, Gov. Ducey declared a state of emergency for the town which will provide $200,000 in emergency funding to continue replacing the water system.

Jones says they’ve been trying to secure funding to replace the aging water system for a while, with paperwork for a couple major grants in process.

Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.