FRESNO, California (KSEE/KGPE) – A sewage backup inside Fresno County Jail early Friday morning was caused by inmates flushing inappropriate items down the toilets, according to Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
Correctional staff first reported the issue shortly after midnight inside the North Annex. The backup in the pipes then caused sewage to leak through the building and onto the floor. It also created substantial damage to the courtrooms on the first floor.
Due to the contents of the sewage system, the mess was treated as a hazardous materials (HAZMAT) situation.
Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said the clog began earlier this week after inmates were flushing items such as blankets, clothing, food, and garbage down the toilets. By Friday the system could take no more.
The damage estimate is in the tens of thousands of dollars. The sheriff’s office said that taxpayer money will not be used to make the repairs but the money will instead be coming from insurance and pre-existing funds.