SEBRING, Ohio (WYTV) – Customers in Sebring, Beloit, Maple Ridge and parts of Smith Township are being notified that higher-than-normal lead levels have been found in their water.
Sebring Water Superintendent Jim Bates said tests of the water were conducted in August and September, and those results which recently came back showed lead levels above those recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Some of those samples were a little bit too high, but it was not a violation. It was higher than they’d like to see it,” he said.
Bates said the 8,100 customers who may be affected by the lead levels are being notified. He said usually, customers are advised to run the water for about 30 seconds before using it. The EPA says there can also be a danger to pregnant women and children who are exposed to high levels of lead.
“We are handing out the information levels about the levels of lead in the water and explaining details about it, what’s the proper steps to do to lower if there’s any lead in there,” Bates said.
On Friday, water samples will be retested at those sites that were previously tested, and the city is meeting with the EPA. He said more details should be provided at that time.
The village of Sebring recently built a $2 million addition to its water treatment plant in order to meet EPA standards after contaminants, such as trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids, were found to exceed EPA levels.
The contaminants are created when materials such as leaves, grass and twigs mix with chlorine that is used to disinfect surface water.
The finding comes during a time when Flint, Michigan is experiencing a water crisis. There, the corrosive water lacked adequate treatment and caused lead to leach from old pipes in homes and schools.
Bates said he is unable to say whether the lead levels compare to the crisis there.
“I don’t believe so…. I don’t know what the levels are in Michigan,” he said.