The Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency is coordinating the distribution of bottled water in areas using water from the Village of Sebring.

Sebring Schools were closed Friday after the village issued a precautionary advisory asking pregnant women and children to stop drinking Sebring Village water after tests revealed lead levels of 21 parts per billion, exceeding the federal action level of 15 parts per billion.

An investigator from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency took water samples from drinking fountains at Sebring schools and nineteen other sites on Friday following earlier tests that showed higher than acceptable levels of lead in seven homes using water supplied by the Village of Sebring.

Sebring Village water serves 8,100 homes and businesses in Sebring, Beloit and Maple Ridge.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency purchased 150 pallets of bottled water for distribution in the community.

The water can be picked up at the Sebring Community Center, 305 W. Texas Ave., Sebring, during the following days and times:

Friday 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Village Manager Richard Giroux says he beleives the water coming from the water department is safe, pointing out that Sebring just spent nearly $5 million dollars installing carbon filters.

However, he says the lead could be a result of what he calls aggressive water.

According to the Penn State Extension service, aggressive water, also known as corrosive water can dissolve materials with which it comes in contact.

While aggressive water is usually not dangerous to consume by itself, it can cause serious drinking water quality problems by dissolving metals like lead or copper from plumbing systems in homes and distribution systems.

Lead can cause serious health problems, especially for pregnant women and young children.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends children and pregnant women use bottled water or water from a filtration system that has been certified by an independent testing organization to reduce or eliminate lead for cooking, drinking and baby formula preparation.

Other residents are advised to reduce their potential lead exposure by running the water for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, until it is noticeably colder, before using it to flush out the lead.

For more information on the health effects of lead, visit U.S. EPA’s website.