Crews work to restore water at Douglas prison housing 2,000 inmates

Crews worked Monday to restore water at an Arizona prison where inmates had to use bottled water and portable toilets over the weekend after a well ran dry.

Cochise County crews over the weekend dug a deeper well to serve the prison in Douglas and an adjacent airport in the southwestern part of the state. They sought Monday to figure out why water still wasn’t reaching the prison, said Amanda Baillie, a spokeswoman for the county.

Water pressure dropped on Friday, and water was completely shut off for a time over the weekend so crews could work on a fix, said Andrew Wilder, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections.

Officials thought water was restored on Sunday, but pressure again dropped, he said. A temporary fix is providing water to two units that house a majority of the 2,000 inmates at the prison, a few miles north of the Mexican border.

The prison has thousands of water bottles on hand for prisoners, staff and visitors, along with portable sinks and toilets, Wilder said. Meal service has not been interrupted, and water has been trucked in for evaporative coolers.

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