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Jail courthouse to reopen after plumbing fix

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The courthouse at the Duval County Jail was set to reopen Saturday morning, more than two weeks after inmates broke sewer pipes by flushing objects down the toilets at the same time.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said plumbing issues were fixed quickly within the jail but carpet and the after effects of the flooding in the courthouse were the hold-up.

First appearances were moved to the Duval County Courthouse while clean-up was under way.

In mid-October JSO said inmates flushed sheets, whole rolls of toilet paper and other objects down the toilet so they could communicate with each other through the pipes.

"The inmates about eight to 10 months ago figured out that if they stop up the system, they can communicate with each other through the pipes of the toilets," JSO spokeswoman Melissa Bujeda said.

The men would talk to the women on the upper floors.

"It causes an incredible problem for us," Bujeda said. "It's a costly problem, and we have a lot of damage that is going to need it to be fixed."

At least 800 inmates had to be moved to different cells.

The entire basement and the inmates' beds are damp from the sewage and waste. The jail is 25-years-old, but employees said it feels three times older because of the constant use.

The city said it'll cost about $10,000 for the cleanup, but that's not taking into consideration replacing tiles and carpeting.