Sebring changes requirements for residents to get water

Residents in Sebring are wondering why they weren't informed of the high lead levels in their water sooner.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Village of Sebring has amended its criteria to receive bottled water.

New guidelines set Thursday say that all water customers are eligible to receive free bottled water, unless the residence or business has tested negative for harmful levels of lead.

Because water is limited, each qualifying household will receive the equivalent of one gallon, per person, per day. No customer will receive more than a six-day supply.

Any person or business receiving water must have their water tested.

Additional Criteria:
-Current resident of impacted area (Sebring Water Customer, MUST show proof)
-Current businesses of impacted area (Sebring Water Customer, MUST show proof)

Water will distributed Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sebring Community Center, 305 W. Texas Ave., Sebring. Additional distribution dates and times will be announced at a later date.

Anyone with a special needs request is asked to call Sebring City Hall at (330) 938-9340.

Mahoning County Health Commissioner Pat Sweeney said that Sebring Schools shouldn’t have to replace the additional water fountains that showed lead levels up to 15 parts per billion.

Sweeney said the EPA and Ohio Department of Health are encouraging schools to minimize the exposure to water from those sources for children and pregnant women until the district can come up with a plan to address it.

Superintendent Toni Viscounte had those extra fountains and a bathroom sink bagged yesterday and had been concerned they might have to be repaired or replaced, which would be expensive. Sweeney says that may not ultimately be the case, except for the two that were above 15 parts per billion, and that she’ll work with Viscounte on that.

For complete coverage of the Sebring water crisis, check out WKBN’s special section on the issue.

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