Tests show few high lead readings in Ohio village’s water

Posted at 3:28 PM, Feb 06, 2016

SEBRING, Ohio (AP) — Regulators say lead levels in tap water have been below the federal allowable limit in 96 percent of the samples tested this past week in a northeast Ohio village.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has been testing water in the rural area of Mahoning County for about two weeks since notifying residents in Sebring that unsafe levels of lead were found in some water samples.

The operators of the small water system have come under fire by the state for not notifying the public for months about the results.

Just last month, Ohio’s EPA director issued a statement calling for a criminal investigation into one operator of the water treatment plant.

That statement said the EPA has “reason to suspect” that the operator falsified reports.

Some lawmakers want to know why the state EPA did not step in more quickly.

The water system serves about 8,100 customers in Sebring. The town is about 60 miles southeast of Cleveland.

State officials are working with Sebring to adjust its water system chemistry to keep lead from leaching from residential piping.