Cochise County working to resolve water supply issues at state prison complex in Douglas

Cochise County crews are working to resolve a water supply issue with the municipal water service to the state prison complex in Douglas. According to authorities, after repairs were finished Saturday by crews and water flow was initially restored, it was soon again intermittent and the pressure was “unacceptably low.”

The County provides water to the prison via a well located at the adjacent Bisbee Douglas International Airport.


The County released an overview of the situation:

Water flow was initially restored on Saturday when County facilities staff dug the well deeper and coordinated with KE&G Construction to facilitate a temporary solution. However, the system showed signs of a leak and crews are currently working to repair it, which requires the water supply to be shutdown.

The County is also working to bring a second, new well online and is coordinating with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to expedite that process.

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) must test the water supply over a 24-hour period before approving the new well.

The County’s Office of Emergency Services has been coordinating efforts to supply the prison state complex with temporary water supplies, to include bottled water, water tanks and tenders. Arizona Department of Corrections has also activated contingency measures to ensure inmates, visitors and staff have water for drinking and sanitation.

“Our efforts are focused entirely on restoring normal water services to the prison complex, as well as helping the Douglas prison community with emergency water supplies to maintain a safe and sanitary environment,” said County Administrator Ed Gilligan. “We are grateful to both the local and state agencies, as well as private organizations, who have stepped up to help us resolve this situation as quickly as possible.”

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