On Call for Emergency Service
by Steve Guercia, Commercial and Public Water Systems Manager
It’s about 4 PM on a Friday afternoon on 4th of July Weekend. I check my phone for messages before heading home. There are a few emails that don’t need a response until Monday, and one phone message. The message was from the Director of the Public Water Program with NH Department of Environmental Services. She alerted us to the need for emergency service at one of our clients. Her message was “Steve, I have been informed that an elderly housing community you operate has no water and the local health inspector wants the building vacated. What’s your plan?”
My two primary operators had the day off, so I thought it odd I hadn’t heard about a no water call. I called the office and no one had taken a call about no water at a Public Water System. So I called the management company for this community and she told me “We have been without water since yesterday (which happened to be the 4thof July). We have been calling pump companies and no one wants to come out till Monday.”
When I asked why she didn’t call us, she said she knew we were not a pump company and didn’t think we could help. I let her know that it is required by law to inform the operator when there is no water, so that we can remedy the situation if at all possible. That’s what we’re here for!
I called the Department of Environmental Services to let them know we were not aware of the problem and now that we were, I was making calls and would update them on this emergency service situation.
Do The Right Thing
I called my primary pump company. He was also on his way home, hoping for an early start to the weekend. I told him the well pump worked but the boosters to the building did not. I was hoping we could set up a temporary connection from the well to the building and bypass the boosters. But I wasn’t sure I knew how to do that.
Even though he was on his way home, he told me he was only about 15 minutes away. He could go there right now. I too, was about 15 minutes away, so we headed over to make sure that these elderly folks didn’t have to leave their homes.
Fixing The Problem
We arrived and quickly confirmed the booster pumps were in complete failure and that the well pump was working properly. It took us about 10 minutes to figure out a way to connect the well directly to the building. Between our two vehicles, we were able to put together the parts we needed.
By 6 PM we had water restored to the building! They had been trying to get emergency service for their water emergency for over 24 hours. Once Secondwind found out about the problem, we had water back in less than two hours.
I called on Saturday to confirm everything was working well with the temporary connection and it was. Our response avoided the need to move about 40 elderly residents to a hotel for the weekend if they could even find rooms on the 4thof July weekend. There was no way we would have let that happen on our watch unless it was the absolute last resort. No medals needed, it’s simply the right thing to do. It’s what all service companies should aim for because service emergencies happen.
The Secondwind Difference
One of our core values is ‘Be part of the solution.’ Anyone can fill bottles of water. Operating a Public Water System is about a lot more than just taking water samples. Integrity, compassion, and care about the customer are at the heart of what Secondwind offers all of our customers. We will always aim to find solutions, at any time, day or night, to ensure that our customers have clean, safe, great-tasting water.