Ohio’s Lead Water Problem

Posted on:

< < Back to

SEBRING, Ohio (AP) — The latest on lead-tainted water in northeastern Ohio (all times local):


7:00 a.m.

Schools shut down for three days over lead-tainted water in rural northeastern Ohio are slated to reopen.

Classes in the Sebring school district near Youngstown were expected to resume Wednesday after being closed three days in a row.

Residents in the village and two other communities were told late last week that high levels of lead had been found last summer in the drinking water.

Ohio’s environmental regulators say residents should have been told by no later than November about the elevated lead levels.

Recent tests at the schools found that two drinking fountains at separate schools had lead levels that exceeded Environmental Protection Agency standards.

School officials say they have shut off those drinking fountains and that students are allowed to bring their own water and hand sanitizer to classes.


11:25 a.m.

Ohio regulators say two of 123 water samples taken at schools in a northeastern Ohio community are above the federal limits for lead and copper.

The state’s environmental agency said Tuesday that the latest tests from Sunday at three schools in Sebring near Youngstown found excessive lead levels in two drinking water fountains.

State officials say 22 samples showed evidence of lead below the federal limits while the rest had none.

Schools in the community are closed for a third day after officials said some homes showed high levels of contaminants this past summer.

Ohio’s environmental director has called for a criminal investigation, saying the local water plant operator failed to warn the public about the high lead tests and falsified reports.

The manager is denying the allegations.


9:45 a.m.

A water treatment plant manager in Ohio is denying allegations that he falsified reports about high levels of lead and copper being detected in some homes last summer.

Ohio’s environmental agency is calling for a criminal investigation, saying the operator failed to warn the public about the high lead tests.

The agency says it believes the water plant superintendent in Sebring near Youngstown falsified reports.

Plant manager James Bates told The Vindicator newspaper in Youngstown that the allegations are a “downright lie.” He declined to comment when reached at home by The Associated Press.

Officials in Sebring say seven of 20 homes where the water is routinely tested showed high levels of the contaminants.

Authorities there are handing out bottled water, and schools are closed again Tuesday.