Las Vegas Sun

October 31, 2014

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Prison water system goes on the fritz

The state prison at Lovelock was without water for at least 72 hours, says an advocacy group for former inmates.

Nevada-Cure said Tuesday there was no water for drinking, toilets or showers and questioned why the problem took so long to fix.

Brian Connett, a deputy director of the state Department of Corrections and spokesman for the prison, could not be reached for comment, but the department issued a press release late Tuesday that the water pressure went off Saturday and wasn’t fixed until Monday night.

The agency said potable water and portable toilet facilities were available to staff and inmates at the Northern Nevada prison.

Gus Nunez, administrator of the state Public Works Division, said he was contacted Monday by Greg Cox, the corrections director who said that a repair man had not shown up to fix the problem.

Nunez said Tuesday that workers were dispatched and the water is now flowing. He said there may have been a valve or pump malfunction in the tank.

Gene Columbus of the Nevada Correctional Officers Association said the water was down for a “couple of days” and that the malfunction could cause unrest among the inmates.

He said he did not know what the problem was.

There are an estimated 1,600 inmates at the prison.

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