May 14, 2020

Century Water Supply to Florida Prison Fails

Water access issues caused 200 inmates to be moved from a Florida prison.

water quality

Water access issues caused 200 inmates to be moved from Century Correctional Institution.

According to families of inmates, the inmates have no access to running water, reported WEAR.

Senator Doug Broxson confirmed that the prison's water system has not been properly working since May 7th, 2020. A 30-year old Town of Century water well was the only water supply for the approximate 1,300 prisoners at Century Correctional Institution, reported North Escambia. 

The well pump was estimated to have pumped two trillion gallons of water to the prison. According to Broxson, the well supplying the facility failed and a water main broke when the city tried to get water into the facility through a separate water tower. The aftermath was nearly 200 inmates being sent to different facilities. There are still hundreds of other inmates dealing with the water issue, however.

An inmate inside has confirmed they have been given about eight water bottles a day and were told to be mindful of usage, reported WEAR. 

"They brought in portable toilets and two trucks that can be supplied with water," said Senator Broxson. "Which services the restrooms that can be serviced. But none of that water is being consumed. All the water that's being consumed is bottled water."

There are some toilets and showers that the facility cannot get water to. According to Broxson, this issue will be treated as an emergency.

In a November 2019 memo presented to the town council, Prather said the well at prison needs major maintenance and should be repaired as soon as possible.

“We believe the original output was 400 GPM when the well was constructed in 1990,” said Prather.

A contractor, Layne Christensen Company, has been working to determine the condition of the well and the repair process needed. The contractor has removed the well pump and a 200-foot discharge pipe from a 350-foot casing. A video inspection on Saturday revealed that screens were completely submerged with sand, reported North Escambia. 

If a well must be completely replaced, it will cost the town between $200,000 and $300,000.

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