KENEDY, Texas — A water well malfunction in the city of Kenedy caused inmates at the Connally Unit to not be able to flush their toilets regularly for five days.
The motor in the water well that pumps water to the Connally Unit malfunctioned on Sunday, according to Ford Patton, Kenedy city manager. Kenedy is about 300 miles south of Fort Worth and 60 miles southeast of San Antonio.
The problem caused water pressure at the Connally Unit, a prison facility with capacity for about 2,900 inmates, to fall below the amount needed to properly flush the toilets, according to an email from the Ombudsman’s Office at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.
Once the motor was replaced and the well repaired, that led to other problems.
“They had an issue with all the offenders trying to flush their toilets all at once,” Patton said. “They were trying to use twice as much water as their waste stations could take out of the system because they tried to turn everything on at once.”
The malfunctioned was detected on Sunday and repaired by Wednesday afternoon, Patton said. It took perhaps as late as Thursday afternoon before pressure could be built back up at the prison unit, according to a prison official.
The unit continued to have water and ice. Prison officials filled barrels with water and brought in water and ice so that inmates could remain hydrated, the official said. -- Mitch Mitchell