Contaminated Water Draws EPA to Midland County

by Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND COUNTY - The Environmental Protection Agency has named the Ground Water site on West County Road 112, just outside the City of Midland to their National Priorities List of Superfund sites.

What that means is now they'll be in charge of clean-up and tracking down what caused the contamination, which spreads more than a mile out and hides under 260 acres of land.

The residents' ground wells where they draw their water are tainted with chromium and it's spreading. One Midland group encourages a new source of water: creating a new water district.

"The urgency has not changed," Midland County Resident, Dr. Shelton Viney, said. "It's just now there's some other reasons to push on ahead and make this happen."

Dr. Viney serves on a development committee with five others to create a new water district which will run nine miles south along Interstate 20, stretching to Rankin Highway and Greenwood before looping back to the City of Midland.

Dr. Viney's experienced the problems with his own ground well first-hand.

"I've had sand come out of the faucet," Viney said.

Add in chromium contamination, and then, add some homes whose ground wells just don't pump enough.

"There are a lot more people who have wells that only do one, two or three gallons a minute and that's hard to run a household on," Viney said.

Neighbors told NewsWest 9 that's not even enough water to fill a bathtub.

NewsWest 9 hit the streets to talk to residents on that road, but they either weren't home or wouldn't go on camera.

Some expressed that they'd like a water district, but didn't think it was going to happen. Others said they don't want to pay any extra tax money for a district, they just want the EPA to come and clean up the chromium themselves.

But Dr. Viney said the plans for the district are nearly done and will soon be put into bill form in the coming months.

"We're in the process now of trying to complete legislation to create the district," Viney said. "The bill is to be introduced in the next, probably, six weeks."