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Investigation of Sebring's Water Problems is Continuing
The water system serves Sebring and neighboring Beloit and Maple Ridge...all just east of Alliance
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


Reporter
Tim Rudell
 
loading bottled water at the Sebring Community Center
Courtesy of Tim Rudell
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Sebring’s water superintendent is on administrative leave, and bottled water is still being distributed to residents of the village and surrounding communities as the Ohio EPA runs more tests.  WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports.

LISTEN: Investigation continues on lead in Sebring water system

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About eight thousand people are hooked up to Sebring Water and last week they were told to stop drinking it after sample testing showed metal contamination at several sites. 

Felt something was wrong
Kurt Hawkins was at the Community Center getting a couple case of bottled water.  He says he thinks there has been a problem for some time.  “I told the wife a while back...I said, this water doesn’t taste right.  And they had a lot of chemicals in it I thought.  So I started going down to lot of chemicals in it I think.  So, I started going down to Gordon Brothers and get’n water down there.”

Random tests 
Ohio EPA spokeswoman Heidi Griesmer said Monday afternoon that the number of contaminated samples found last week was small, in five private residences and a business, but the investigation is continuing to find out what caused them and why local authorities didn’t discover or reveal them sooner. 

Sebring water superintendent
James Bates is now on administrative leave.  Village Manager Rich Giroux  made that announcement after the Ohio EPA issued an order prohibiting Bates from operating the water system. 

OEPA wary
Heidi Griesmer says the agency grew concerned how the Sebring system was being managed. “The village of Sebring time and time again gave us incomplete data; did not submit required documents.  We also received documentation that caused us to suspect that they provided fraudulent data to us, and we have started an investigation.”

Defending himself
James Bates spoke with WFMJ-TV in Youngstown and said he did not falsifying anything.  


Related WKSU Stories

Sebring schools closed again as the village tests water for lead
Monday, January 25, 2016

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