The Maryland Office of the Public Defender is seeking the release of 11 people at a Baltimore detention facility who have endured what they described as “horrific conditions” caused by water and plumbing issues.

Reports of unflushable toilets and sinks churning out brown water circulated on social media this week but were quickly swatted down by the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, which on Tuesday told The Baltimore Banner that “repairs on a major sewer line at the Maryland Reception Diagnostic and Classification Center have been completed.”

The agency said the issue was identified on Sunday and repaired Monday.

But those familiar with conditions in local jails began to push back almost immediately.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

On Friday, the public defender’s office released a statement saying that the “main pipe that carries human waste out of the facility was clogged and overflowed.”

“For at least two days afterwards, the toilets would not flush, and the sinks only dispensed hot, brown water,” the office said. “As a result, people were forced to remain in cells with unflushed excrement for days.”

The public defender’s office said flooding issues at the facility remained as of Thursday afternoon. Assistant Public Defender Deborah Levi “observed water leaking from the ceiling of the second floor, with industrial sized trash cans overflowing with water from the leaks,” the office’s statement said.

The office cited the facility’s census at more than 420 incarcerated people. While the state corrections department, which has run Baltimore jails for decades, said in its statement on Tuesday that it had brought it portable toilets “to maintain sanitation,” the public defenders’ office said that those who used them had to remain handcuffed and could not wipe or wash themselves.

“At other times, they were provided with garbage bags to use as toilets in their cells,” the public defender’s office said. “With no access to running water, they could not clean themselves and were provided with minimal bottles of water for drinking.”

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

The corrections department did not immediately respond to the public defender’s office’s press release.

The public defender’s office said that when the state holds someone in custody, “the conditions must comply with basic human rights standards — and functional plumbing is among the most basic of those obligations.” It said it would “remain vigilant until this matter is resolved.”