• Odor in the Court: Sewage leak closes Regional Justice Center in Kent

    By: Alison Grande


    KENT, Wash. - A sewer leak shut down the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent on Tuesday. Late Tuesday, King County Facilities Management said the problem was caused when the wastewater pumps failed.

    The pump failure had raw sewage leaking out of drains and into a ground floor courtroom, the law library and the hallways.

    Witnesses tell KIRO 7 at some places it was an inch deep.

    At first only the ground floor was evacuated, but soon the rest of the building was cleared out because the HVAC system was circulating the smell. The water and HVAC systems were shut down. 

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    A KIRO 7 crew could see workers dumping sewage from wet vacuums into a sewage holding tank outside. 

    According to the King County Sheriff's Office the pumps need to be fixed, the water, cleaned up, and all surfaces need to be sanitized.

    One courtroom on the ground floor and the waiting area next to it had the most damage. They will be cleaned, and it is unknown how much the repairs will cost.

    The building is set to re-open tomorrow, all district court cases that were scheduled for Tuesday will be heard on Wednesday.

    Superior Court cases will be rescheduled through the prosecutor's office.

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