SEBRING, Ohio (WYTV) – Neighbors were standing in line Monday in Sebring waiting their turn to hand in their home water test kits. Since early last week, the village has passed out about 800 of them, but results won’t be back until the end of the week. Another 1,000 kits will be delivered Tuesday.
The panic in the community has waned a bit. Michelle Holbrook said she is committed to the community and plans to stay put.
“A 100-year-old home where I live, so I know I am at risk. I still choose to be here. I still choose to live here,” Holbrook said.
The state of Ohio stopped supplying bottled water to the community. The supply now is being donated and purchased by the village. So far, nearly 380,000 have been passed out.
City Manager Richard Giroux has been working the phones and internet trying to find a qualified person to operate the Sebring Water Plant since the state revoked permits for Water Superintendent James Bates. Officials with the Ohio EPA have also put two of its own employees on paid leave for their handling of the water crisis.
If the fix for the lead problem involved repairs and replacements to pipes, residents could be facing thousands of dollars in renovations.
Another blood lead screening clinic was also held on Monday at BL Miller School. The free clinic, held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., was geared toward area residents from birth to six years of age, and pregnant or breastfeeding women that receive drinking water from the Village of Sebring Public Water System.
This initial screening involves only a finger-stick. If it reveals an elevated blood lead level, follow-up testing with a primary care provider will be required.
During Monday’s testing, 125 people were tested, and only one person had elevated lead levels in his or her blood. It is unknown whether that could be attributed to Sebring water consumption or if it is from another source.
Sebring water distribution update:
All Sebring water customers are eligible to receive water, unless a residence or business has been cleared by testing. Each qualifying household will receive the equivalent of one gallon, per person, per day. No customer will receive a distribution exceeding six days. Customers must have their residence or business tested or will 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)
Distribution Center: Sebring Community Center, 305 W. Texas Ave., Sebring, OH 44672
- Monday, February 1, 8 .m. to 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, February 2, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, February 3, 7 a.m. to Noon
- Thursday, February 4, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Friday, February 5, 7 a.m. to Noon
- Saturday, February 6, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Sunday – Closed
Further distribution hours for next week will be determined. Special needs requests please contact City Hall 330-938-9340. Updates will be posted on the Village of Sebring website.