Five courtrooms at the San Francisco Hall of Justice will remain closed at least through Monday after being flooded with raw sewage late Thursday and today, a court spokeswoman said.
The problem began at about 7 p.m. Thursday when a county jail inmate flushed a bed sheet down the toilet, according to sheriff’s department spokeswoman Eileen Hirst.
Four courtrooms on the third floor, and one on the second floor, will be closed all day today and at least through Monday due to the cleanup and subsequent biohazard testing, court spokeswoman Ann Donlan said.
“Bio-testing needs to be done to determine whether it’s safe for the public and court staff to return to the courtrooms,” Donlan said.
Some areas were flooded with up to 2 inches of raw sewage.
“It’s pretty nasty,” she said.
There was no immediate estimate of how much the cleanup would cost, according to Donlan. She said that since the Hall of Justice is now a state building, the bio-testing part of the cleanup would be paid for by the state.
No Superior Court cases had to be canceled today, as calendars were shifted to other courtrooms, Donlan said.
The last serious jail-flooding problem at the Hall of Justice happened in the 1990s, when several Police Department offices were damaged, Hirst said.