Dripping jail water comes from shower, official says Superintendent rules out sewage

November 01, 1995|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Water leaking from a shower stall, not raw sewage, is causing the dripping in a basement cell and security office at the county detention center, the facility superintendent said yesterday.

Engineers from a water quality testing company came to the Jennifer Road jail to check the plumbing Oct. 23 after someone posted test results on a bulletin board with a note asserting the figures indicated the leaking liquid was raw sewage, Superintendent Richard J. Baker said.

Mr. Baker said he does not know who posted the notice or who had the tests conducted.

He said no water samples were tested by engineers from Environmental Testing Lab Inc. during their Oct. 23 visit because there were no leaks at the time.

But he said an inspection by the company's engineers determined that the water -- which has leaked periodically for months at the 28-year-old jail -- seeped in from an inmate shower.

The leak occurs when inmates jam the "on" button of the shower stall to get a continuous run of water, he said.

Mr. Baker said the test sample that prompted the anonymous bulletin board notice contained too few contaminants to be considered sewage.

Larry Luck, chief of food control and environmental health programs for the county Department of Health, said the cup of water tested by Environmental Testing Lab two weeks ago showed four parts per 100 milliliters of E. coli bacteria.

Water in most sewer pipes would register from 20,000 to 50,000 parts per 100 milliliters, Mr. Luck said.

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