UMU Experts Panel: National Water Crisis Reaches Local Pipes

January 26, 2016

ALLIANCE, Ohio – In recent weeks, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan has taken center stage in the national spotlight. That issue is now closer to home, as residents of Sebring, Ohio are facing a similar issue with lead in their water systems.

Since the issue of clean water is being discussed both across the nation and locally, the University of Mount Union will hold a UMU Experts educational panel discussion on Thursday, January 28 at 6 p.m. in the Newbold Room of the Hoover Price Campus Center.

The panel will feature Mount Union faculty members Dr. Laura Kumler, assistant professor of political science and international studies, Dr. Hans Tritico, assistant professor of civil engineering and Dr. Jeff Buth, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Kumler teaches about how environmental policies are developed and implemented, with much of her research on Brazil’s national water policy and its implementation. She has also looked into the United States’ lack of a national water policy, leading to patchwork regulations with diverse water quality such as Flint and Sebring.

Tritico’s field of expertise is with water resources engineering. He earned a Ph.D. in joint civil engineering and aquatic engineering from the University of Michigan.

Buth’s research applies analytical chemistry techniques to study environmental problems, specifically regarding the chemical fate of water pollutants. By examining the factors that affect the chemical transformations of water pollutants in a detailed way, a more accurate assessment of their environmental impact may be determined.

The intent of the discussion will be to educate and inform area residents with some of the research and information behind many of the issues with water systems in the United States. Each panel member will briefly present some information on their topic of expertise and a public question and answer session will take place following the discussion.

Immediately following the discussion, the Black Student Union of Mount Union will hold a water drive to benefit both Flint, Michigan and Sebring, Ohio communities.

The event is free and open to the public and those wishing to help volunteer are welcome to stay after the discussion to help out.

UMU Experts presentations are intended to give students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community an opportunity to learn about a timely or culturally relevant topic from a Mount Union faculty member in his or her area of expertise.

For more information, contact Ryan Smith at (330) 823-6045 or

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