Yesterday, we received word from an anonymous tipster that there was a sewage leak at the San Francisco Hall of Justice (850 Bryant St.).
Today, John Gavin, of the Department of Real Estate, has confirmed the leak.
Plumbers on the scene reported finding a 7th floor kitchen sink that had become clogged with cooking grease. Gavin wasn't able to confirm who has access to the sink.
The clogged drain resulted in two floors of connected pipes to back up and eventually break over the ceiling of the former Police Commission Room on the fifth floor (the SF Police Commission now meets at City Hall).
“Custodians and plumbers addressed the pipe leak, and spent yesterday afternoon and night cleaning it up,” said Gavin.
Just last month, an inmate clogged a 7th floor toilet with a large towel, resulting in raw sewage to flood several floors across buildings. Foul smelling water reportedly flooded the building all the way down to the second and third floors of the Hall of Justice.
“It happens frequently,” said Gavin. In the ‘90s, a dozen sewage grinders were installed in the Hall of Justice to mitigate clogged pipes, backups, and flooding, but the issue is seemingly ongoing.
More recently, the Hall of Justice has had a fair share of other problems. Besides being seismically unsound and dripping with raw sewage, the building has struggled with rats, cockroaches, and asbestos.
However, 850 Bryant’s future remains uncertain, as plans to replace the building with a new jail were rejected.
Although dozens of prosecutors and staff were evacuated during the sewage leak in January, Gavin said no one was evacuated during yesterday’s incident. “The room did not appear to be in use.”
It was alleged that sewage had also leaked into fourth floor offices; however, Gavin said that only the former Police Commission Room was affected.
Remediation for the January leak and yesterday’s spill are ongoing, Gavin noted, and he hopes that it will be all taken care of within the next couple of weeks.
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