There’s never a good time for a water-main break. But when it happens in the aftermath of a major hurricane, well, that can certainly throw a wrench into things.
In September, just after Hurricane Ida hit the United States, staff at Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay were scrambling. They were preparing for students to arrive on campus the next day, but a water pipe burst in one of the dormitories.
There was no time to waste. The break had to be fixed immediately or the school would need to delay students’ arrival on campus. In the aftermath of Ida, a massive Nor’easter was unleashed in the New England area, adding to the craziness of the day.
Facility staff at MMA keep Viega fittings and tooling onsite for repairs to what is an aging system, but – as Murphy’s Law would have it – they only had tooling for up to 2” and they needed ProPress rings for 2½” tubing. That’s when Andrew Hiller of CGW Associates got a phone call.
“I raced to my facility to see what tooling I had, but the storm was just massive. The rain was incredible,” Hiller said. “I got rerouted because our main route was underwater – about five feet in some areas.”
Hiller discovered he didn’t have the correct-size rings either, so he called Viega District Sales Manager Dan Paine and told him what he needed. Paine could get the rings from a central storage facility, and the two men coordinated to meet soon after so that Hiller could drive the tools over to MMA.
“I drove through the deepest puddle I’ve ever been through,” Hiller said. “It wasn’t a very big section, but it was very deep!”
Once Hiller got the jaws to MMA, they replaced the entire section of pipe, about 25 feet in length. He said it was aging and a bad design, plus it was a difficult area in which to make the repair. But thanks to Viega fittings and the quick actions of Hiller and Paine, the repair was complete and MMA was back online, ready for students.
“When our customers need something, Viega is there to help as quickly as we can,” Paine said. “People trust Viega because they know they’re not just getting a great product, but also the service and support that go along with it. I was glad we could lend a hand to help the school get back up and running quickly, with as little interruption as possible.”