A Sebring water crisis could be the next Flint after health officials found dangerously high lead levels in the Ohio city's drinking water.
On Monday, more than 100 residents crowded the Sebring village council meeting demanding answers on lead levels of 21 parts per billion detected recently in the water of seven of 40 homes tested, The Youngstown Vindicator reported
. The federal actionable level of lead is 15 parts per billion, the newspaper said.
Last week, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency told village manager Richard Giroux to issue a warning advising pregnant women and children not to drink Sebring's tap water pending further testing, according to The Vindicator.
Schools in the town 70 miles southeast of Cleveland were closed Monday and Tuesday as those additional tests were performed, CNN reported.
The state EPA is also looking into revoking the license of Sebring's water treatment operator, the news site said.
Sebring water treatment plant superintendent Jim Bates is on administrative leave amid the testing, as he is under investigation on allegations of falsifying reports about lead and copper levels in the city's water supply, The Vindicator reported.
The Ohio EPA issued a statement Tuesday on its preliminary findings, specifically at Sebring-area schools.
"Extensive water samples taken by Ohio EPA Sunday evening at three local schools near Sebring show that 121 of the 123 samples are below the federal allowable level, and those that were above the federal allowable level are contained to drinking water fountains, not the incoming water supply to the building," the agency said in a release
"Water samples taken at 28 area homes over the weekend showed that 25 were below the federal guidelines," the statement continued. "Twelve of the 15 tests conducted over the weekend at the schools were below detectable levels for lead. Tests conducted at the water treatment plant over the weekend confirmed there is no detectable lead leaving the water treatment."
A similar tainted water crisis has been affecting Flint, Michigan, with President Barack Obama declaring it a federal state of emergency
earlier this month,
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