WKBN testing shows Sebring water safe, by feds’ standards

Water testing in Sebring, Ohio.


SEBRING, Ohio (WKBN) – WKBN has received the results of independent testing from water at McKinley Junior/Senior High School, showing that lead levels at one drinking fountain there are below federally allowable limits.

The test results showed that there were five parts of lead per billion in the water. The U.S. EPA allows up to 15 parts per billion.

Local officials are passing out more water testing kits in Sebring Friday, a week after the public learned that some homes in the area tested high for levels of lead back in August.

Sebring Mayor Michael Pinkerton said the city got 600 more testing kits Thursday night. People can pick them up at Sebring village hall on E. Ohio Avenue.

Rob and Mandy Blake, who own Sweet Bunz Cafe in Sebring, said they have had to careful about using water from their own tap, since learning about the contamination problems. The Blakes said health inspectors have been in twice last week checking the water, while they continue to use bottled water for their cooking.

They say the business hasn’t suffered.

The Youngstown State University Association of Classified Employees union and the Hope Foundation donated two pallets -- or 4,000 bottles -- of water to Sebring Schools.
The Youngstown State University Association of Classified Employees union and the Hope Foundation donated two pallets — or 4,000 bottles — of water to Sebring Schools.

“It really hasn’t affected us much. We’re still able to use the water to wash our utensils and our racks and stuff, but all in all, it has been good,” Rob Blake said.

For those who may be concerned about having drunk water with lead in it, a free blood lead screening clinic will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1, at BL Miller School in Sebring. The clinic is for children up to six years of age and pregnant or breastfeeding women, and no appointment is necessary.

If an initial test shows elevated levels of lead, people will have to follow up with their primary doctor.

Just five of 176 people screened last Sunday showed high lead levels in their blood, and the state has not confirmed any other cases yet.

The Ohio Department of Health provides guidelines for what you should do depending on how much lead is in your blood.

The Youngstown State University Association of Classified Employees union and the Hope Foundation donated two pallets — or 4,000 bottles — of water to Sebring Schools Friday. That water will be distributed to the school, with some going to the athletic department, some to teachers and staff, and some being used within the school district.

Sebring has given out about 300,000 water bottles so far, and all Sebring water customers are eligible to receive free bottled water, unless your residence or business has been tested as OK.

There is a limited supply of bottled water at the distribution center at the Sebring Community Center, and the Village of Sebring wants to make sure all those who need water are receiving it.

Each qualifying person in the household will receive the equivalent of one gallon, per person, per day. No consumer will receive a supply exceeding 6 days per distribution.

All residents and businesses receiving bottle water must have their residence or businesses tested, or shall be disqualified from receiving free water.

Criteria to receive water:

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

NOTE: Households and businesses that test OK on water quality will become ineligible.

Distribution Center

Sebring Community Center
305 W. Texas Ave.
Sebring, OH 44672

Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm – January 29, 2016
Saturday 9:00 am – 1:00pm – January 30, 2016
Sunday closed – January 31, 2016,
Monday 8:00 am – 5:00pm – February 1, 2016
Future dates to be determined.

Further distribution hours for next week will be determined. Those with special needs requests can contact city hall at 330-938-9340. Updates will be posted on the Village of Sebring Website.

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