Water at the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in southern Sacramento County has tested positive for high levels of lead and copper, but there is no immediate health risk, county officials said Saturday.
“Out of an abundance of caution,” county public health officials have advised the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department to provide drinking water that does not pass through the center’s existing plumbing, according to a county statement.
“Public Health is working closely with Environmental Management, the Sheriff’s Department and Water Resources to ensure the health and safety of inmates and staff,” said Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County public health officer. “Though some test sites exceeded the action levels, we consider this low risk.”
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials transferred all 134 immigration detainees held at RCCC to a detention facility near Los Angeles because of the water issues, said Virginia Kice, an ICE spokeswoman. ICE contracts with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department to house immigration detainees.
“ICE anticipates being able to return the detainees to the Sacramento-area center soon,” Kice said in an email. “In the meantime, ICE … has begun notifying detainees’ private attorneys about the transfers.”
Children and pregnant women are most at risk for lead poisoning, which can delay physical and mental development of children. But Rio Cosumnes does not house children or pregnant inmates.