Sewer backup at Ionia County Jail fixed

Ionia County Jail
Cleanup and plumping crews at the Ionia County Jail after a sewage backup. (Jan. 4, 2018)

IONIA, Mich. (WOOD) — A sewage backup at the Ionia County Jail Thursday caused officials to move some inmates to different cells.

The problem caused flooding in four pods of the jail. The backup was resolved as of late Thursday afternoon, though cleanup continued.

“There is … an inch or two or three of water standing in certain areas,” Undersheriff Charlie Noll said. “I was told there was some water bubbling out of some drains.”

Even after the blockage was cleared, the cause remained unknown. Authorities say it may have been the result of frozen or damaged pipes, or inmates clogging the system.

“There is that possibility that inmates can flush things down the toilet as far as shirts and clothings and sheets and all kinds of things, wrappers from the commissary,” Noll said.

The about 80 inmates housed in the affected pods were temporarily moved within the facility. The jail currently has 130 inmates; its capacity is 152.

The contingency plan was to move the 80 inmates to the Montcalm County Jail, but that won’t be necessary since the problem was resolved.

–24 Hour News 8’s Sarah Hurwitz contributed to this report.