In what one official described as "the joys of owning an older home," Nevada State Prison spent most of Monday dealing with a sewer leak.
Deputy Director of Corrections Fritz Schlottman said the prison has had problems with its sewer system before.
He pointed out the old prison on Fifth Street is believed to be the oldest continuously operating prison in the U.S., built just after the Civil War.
"And it has the sewer system of a Civil War prison," he said.
Warden Bill Donat said one of those ancient sewage lines developed a leak along the west side of the prison, forcing him to call in a contractor to make repairs.
He said they also had the department's health and safety deputy come out along with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.
Donat said the big concern is that the leak could reach a nearby creek and wetland that leads eventually to the Carson River.
"The main thing everybody was looking at is whether it contaminated the wetlands or the pond and they're confident it didn't do that," he said.
He said, however, they will continue monitoring after the leak is repaired to make sure pollutants don't reach the wetlands.
"It's an old facility but I think we've got things under control. We're doing everything we should be doing on it."
The prison had a sewer problem several years ago that was traced to inmates stuffing sheets and bedding down the drains, clogging the old system.
Donat said there's no evidence inmates caused the current problem.
• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.