Residents south of Midland, Texas city limits recently discovered they've been drinking, bathing, and utilizing bathing water containing traces of arsenic and other harmful chemicals that exceed the mandated state standards for three years without notice.

Records show that between 2020 and 2023, their well water, maintained by a private third party, was unsafe for human consumption.

Now, they're looking for answers.

The Texas Tribune reported that Ramón González, the well's former operator, never gave notice or alerted residents to the dangerous drinking water. The state agency supervising him dropped the ball, too.

The commission believes it did its part when it issued a fine for the water quality in 2013 and a court order, which is fittingly still sitting in the attorney general's office. González resigned from his position in 2023, and it turns out, he wasn't the first operator to neglect problems with the well.

The well was reported to have nearly 600 violations since 1997. Compared to neighboring communities, that number is astronomical. We're talking hundreds upon hundreds more than communities less than 5 miles away. This particular well is also known for a lack of testing. The honest number of violations that may have been added to the total is simply unknown.

As a former resident of Upton County, just up the road from this hell-well, I can tell you firsthand, that the water quality throughout the area is horrific and majorly problematic. It smells horrible, and it tastes even worse. It was so bad, that I even gave my animals bottled water. I never drank it straight from the tap on purpose, but it's hard not to get at least a little in your mouth when you shower. I never felt clean after a scrub in the tub, and the water stained everything with a yellow tint. It even ruined my brand-new dishwasher mere days after installation.

Fortunately, I was made aware of the poor water quality when I moved to that community. I also received notices in the mail that included a laundry list of disgusting chemicals. My neighbor told me it was much cheaper for operators to pay fines and send out notices to the community than to address the problem, which I found pretty alarming. Crude oil, fertilizer, and many chemicals that can lead to cancer were always listed in my notice.

Some locals I encountered during my stint in the tiny town of Rankin claimed they'd been drinking that disgusting water for their entire lives and were used to it. I'm not sure if they truly understood the gravity of the situation. Most seemed unbothered by the quality. It was just how things were.

If you'd like to read more about the poor water quality in Midland County, and what they are doing to address the situation, click here. Then, keep scrolling for more stories of interest below...

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