By Wyatt Goolsby
MIDLAND - "Don't drink the well water."
That's the message for Midland County homeowners Tuesday from the famous environmental activist, Erin Brockovich-Ellis. Brockovich said the levels of chromium are so high in private wells, she and her colleagues are working with the state in their ongoing investigation.
It's not a Hollywood movie, but high levels of chromium 6 in well water is something the real Erin Brockovich knows a thing or two about. The contaminated water in Midland County affected more than two dozen residents and that was plenty of reason to talk directly with Midlanders.
"You shouldn't have hexavalent chromium in your water and just ignore the situation," Brockovich explained. "I don't think when we look at green water, we should be questioning whether we should be calling anyone. I think common sense tells us we shouldn't be drinking it."
Brockovich said there are comparisons between the famous Hinkley, California case made famous in the Julia Roberts movie. It's the same kind of dangerous chromium. For her, the message was clear, it's not to be taken lightly.
"I remember vividly the Hinkley case, the now famous case that the movie was about," Brockovich said. "As I stood there and I watched people's well water coming out green, and I watched it coming out yellow, and I've said before I never thought I would see another Hinkley in my life ever. And I'm sitting there going 'oh my gosh, I can't believe this.'"
Brockovich's colleague, Investigator Bob Bowcock, said the dozens and dozens of residents who attended shows the situation is bad.
"We have confirmed what our suspicions were that the plumb is extensive," Bowcock explained. "It's probably at least a mile long, it has very high concentrations."
Brockovich said they will continue to work with the state, but right now she advises residents not to drink the water, even if you have a state filter. Some Midlanders said they don't plan to, and add they want a long term solution.
"The ultimate solution in my opinion, and with theirs, is that we have an alternative water system," Janet Null, a Midland resident with contaminated well water, said. "Whether it be city water, or from some other wells or something like that, but definitely not our water from our wells."
Brockovich also added their own investigation is far from over, and they will continue to talk one-on-one with residents.
"And I think that these people need a source of clean drinking water not today, yesterday," Brockovich added.
At Tuesday's meeting, Brockovich and her colleagues also named a polluter they think is responsible for the contamination. However, because of the weight of those allegations, NewsWest 9 decided not to release the name of that company, until we have a chance to talk with its officials.
We'll continue to follow all the latest developments on NewsWest 9 and NewsWest9.com.