How much would you pay for a home in the Cottonflats neighborhood in Midland, Texas?
Over 40 water wells in Cottonflats are contaminated with hexavalent chromium. Affected owners who protested their property values at the Midland Central Appraisal District review board received a 25% reduction on the market value of their property. Since these residents are now left with the choice of toxic, yellow-greenish water or Tidy Bowl blue water, they are trying to celebrate the small victories. This is actually a microscopic victory because their property is essentially worthless.
“No one’s going to buy this place with contaminated land and contaminated water,” said Kaye Sathre, who has worked to organize some of the community around West County Road 112. “I don’t think you could give it away.”
Before the residents knew about the contamination, they watered the grass like millions of other Americans. Now even the dirt and dust from their yards is a potential source of contamination; and hexavalent chromium is most dangerous when inhaled.
“It’s a mess,” said Patsy Bostwick, who along with her husband own a home and another piece of land on West County Road 112.
She said they don’t know by how much their property values should be lowered, but simply that without a clean water source they must be worth less.
For more information in the hexavalent chromium contamination in Midland see: