Guards at the Correctional Treatment Facility, a D.C. Jail companion that holds 1,200 inmates, acquired new duties Dec. 19 when a water main in the parking lot burst. While officials from the Corrections Corporation of America, which manages the facility, tried to get a city contractor to fix the break, the guards filled trash cans with water from National Guard tankers and wheeled them to the facility’s upper floors. There, periodically throughout their shifts on Dec. 20, they “gravity-flushed” all the toilets. For their pains, they were allowed alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which are normally contraband because of their flammability and intoxicating potential. “I don’t know what the inmates did,” says one guard who was on toilet duty. She “held it” for her 12-hour shift and through her commute home to Maryland. “I had a pain in my back, sides.”

—John Metcalfe