Water issues stall new jail wing work

Published 12:35 am Saturday, October 11, 2014

Construction work on the addition to the Covington County Jail to house female inmates has been slowed by water issues, commissioners were told Friday.

Kevin Kennedy, who manages maintenance for the county, said he worked with the contractors, Bay South Ltd., Inc., of Saraland, to route water away from the new construction site. It is believed there is a slight leak somewhere under the existing jail slab, Kennedy said.

“The problem is under control now, but it might be possible problem in the future,” Kennedy told commissioners.

“It’s difficult to see inside a slab and inside pipes,” he said. “But we fix leaks over there every day. We will probably find this leak when the drain gets stopped up and workers find red dirt in the rotorooter.

“We have done that probably 10 times in last five or six years,” Kennedy said. “I have had to saw the slab up to replace a line.”

Kennedy said the problem is created by inmates who flush plastic, clothes, and “everything else” down toilets.

“There is no solution to it,” he said. “My feeling about what I know from working over there 11 years, there are 200-plus people in there, and there is a shower going all the time. There is very little water coming out from under the building, and no water we can see coming out from under the building.”

Chairman Bill Godwin said the both the contractor and the engineers want to be liable if a water problem develops from the existing facility.

“The architect has a concern, and I think he’s right to have the concern,” Godwin said.

Godwin said there also is a dispute between the contractor and a subcontractor about the amount of dirt hauled in as fill for the construction.

A workshop meeting has been set for 8:30 a.m. Wed., Oct. 15, for commissioners to meet with the architect, contractor and subcontract.

When commissioners questioned the timing of the meeting, Godwin said he was trying to accommodate “other people’s schedules.”

“Well you ain’t accommodating mine, Mr. Chairman,” Carl Turman said. “I have a test with a heart doctor.”