High lead levels detected in Sebring, Ohio, water

Over the summer, seven of 20 homes where the water is routinely tested showed excessive levels of lead.

Jan 27th, 2016

Sebring, Ohio, Jan. 26, 2016 -- After only recently learning that high levels of lead were detected in some homes over the summer, residents in a rural Ohio town are asking the EPA for answers.

About 8,100 people live near the Rust Belt city of Youngstown, and over the summer, seven of 20 homes where the water is routinely tested showed excessive levels of lead. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said the manager of the small water system, James Bates, that supplies Sebring and two other villages failed to notify the public within the required 60 days, but he denied the allegations.

State regulators said they believe the contamination was triggered by water that for some reason had become too corrosive and caused lead pipes leading into homes to leach heavy metal into the drinking water.

Regulators asked the water plant to treat the water following the findings. The most recent round of testing at the homes that had elevated lead over the summer showed that only one had detectable levels, according to Ohio EPA spokeswoman Heidi Griesmer.

More in Drinking Water