More Water Woes for Residents in South Midland County

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND COUNTY--Less than a year after chromium contamination was discovered in their well water, a last, viable option for potable water may not happen.

The hope was to build a pipeline in South Midland County to pump water directly from the city.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Luis Sanchez says he recently found out that's not going to happen, "They're saying the capacity may be too much, even though we're only talking about 40 - 50 homes.  It's not really a whole lot."

Residents along West County Road 112 are probably about a mile from the Midland city limits.  Commissioner Sanchez is concerned over why his constituents can't get any help but others can.

"I'm still trying to figure out how the city has been able to and annex, for example, 191 and 1788, and they're able to pump water way out there.  That's been here recently.  Yet out here, where we are, it's not that far from the city, they're not able to provide the little bit of water that is needed out here," Sanchez explained.

With help from Congressman Mike Conaway, Sanchez says the Environmental Protection Agency was brought into the fight.  It's a role that would take a huge burden off the city.

According to the Commissioner, "The EPA was willing to build the infrastructure for this.  So, it's not like the city would have to pay for it."

Because they are in the County, residents have limited options.  Sanchez says there is one, but he still has to talk to them about it, "A possibility would be, if the people out there would like to be annexed."

Commissioner Sanchez keeps in constant contact with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the EPA and the city.  As a County Commissioner, he says he's done everything the people that elected him have asked, "We did everything we needed to do.  We met with the city a few times.  Now, basically, the ball is in their court and they decided they won't be able to provide the water."

With water conditions the same and the filter expense mounting for the TCEQ, Sanchez says this fight isn't over, "I'm going to keep fighting until we get this resolved somehow and we get a final, absolutely not.  I don't think we're there yet."

Mayor Wes Perry was unavailable for comment.  However, Midland Utilities Director, Stuart Purvis said he would not comment until the TCEQ issued an update on the situation.