Village manager estimates $70K spent on Sebring water crisis - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

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Village manager estimates $70K spent on Sebring water crisis

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SEBRING, Ohio -

The Village of Sebring has spent approximately $70,000 on efforts to ensure the safety of 8,100 homes and businesses served by the Sebring Water System.

That's according to Village Manager Richard Giroux, who says most of that amount has been spent on engineering fees since January 21, when Giroux sent out a notice advising children and pregnant women not to drink or use the water due to high levels of lead detected in samples from seven homes.

Since the advisory was issued, county health officials have been offering free blood screenings to test for lead in children and pregnant women.

In addition, homeowners have been offered free water testing. Sebring water customers whose homes tested for high levels of lead are being offered free bottled water.

As of Thursday, water in a total of 45 homes had tested for high levels of lead. 

The Ohio EPA says that the water coming from Sebring is safe, but lead is leaching from plumbing in some older homes.

Giroux tells 21 News that the Village is waiting for the EPA to approve a temporary system to treat the water with phosphates, which he says should prevent the lead from leaching from water pipes.

After the temporary system is in place, Giroux says the village will work on obtaining EPA approval of a more permanent phosphate system.

Giroux had no comment on Wednesday's announcement that the Ohio EPA had fired two employees and demoted another for failing to notify Ohio EPA Director Craig Butler, or other agency management that the village failed to issue an advisory to the public when the high lead levels were detected back in August.

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