Sewage Leak Fixed at Wichita County Courthouse

If you walk down the hallway headed towards the District Attorney’s office at the Wichita County Courthouse you can't help but smell a strong odor.

An employee at the courthouse who did not want to be identified told Newschannel 6 about the problem.

Wichita County Commissioner Bill Presson said he was first notified of the problem nearly two weeks ago. He said they have been working to fix it, but cannot figure out what its source.

"The strange smell we couldn't identify it was a sewer or ballast," said Presson. 

The unidentified employee said the odor has been present for more than three weeks.

Presson disagreed, "Some days you would have no smell whatsoever. There is no residual effect there is nothing there.”

He said the inconsistent smell made it difficult for them to find the culprit.

On Tuesday the smell was so overwhelming Presson said they called a plumber to come and inspect the entire building.

"We had a plumber come in and start running every sewer line in our building to see if there were any leaks that would cause that," said Presson.

The odor was still present Wednesday afternoon forcing the DA’s office to evacuate and relocate its staff.  

"They moved some people over into the other room, just in the interest of safety until we find out where it’s located. They have moved to various offices within the courthouse," said Presson.

To air on the side of caution, Presson said they reached out to the Wichita Falls Fire Department to seek the best course of action.

"Got them down here with their meters to check for hazardous material and there's not enough parts per million to check at this point in time," said Presson.

At 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon there was a breakthrough. The plumber notified Presson of a leak on the fourth floor in the county jail. He said a three to four inch pipe bust and they would begin to repair it immediately.

The WFFD will be at the courthouse again early Thursday morning to make sure the odor is gone and it is a safe environment for workers to work in.

Jimmie Johnson, Newschannel 6