At Watterson, our clients have needs at all hours of the day, every day of the week. No matter when our clients need us, Watterson is there to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Recently we received a phone call that challenged us to rise to the occasion. Here’s the story from our Vice President of Facilities Management:
It seems that most emergencies happen after hours and on weekends. We were contacted by a client late on a Friday afternoon reporting an underground pipe break in the parking lot of their property. Not only was the parking lot flooding, but the grocery store located on the property was not receiving potable water and would need to close if water was not restored. Time was not our friend. With the assistance of mall management, our teams contacted all the local utilities to begin the process of identifying local underground utility lines. Once all utilities were located, our teams worked through the night to identify the break underground with GPR (ground penetrating radar). We found we had a more complex job than just a pipe break. The ground underneath the parking lot was saturated, indicating this leak may have been occurring and spreading underneath the parking lot for quite some time. The ground saturation as well as 18 inches of asphalt in the parking lot, even using GPR, made finding the exact location of the break very difficult.
Our teams decided to work throughout the night and isolated the source of the leak. Meanwhile, the city provided us with the size of the pipe for the water line so we could prepare to correct the leak once the location was identified. We were able to isolate the area where the leak was originating and began the processes of breaking up the top 18 inches of asphalt and then digging down 8ft to find the broken pipe. Once we found the leak, we soon realized that the information the city provided to us was based on schematics that were not up to date. By this time, we were into Saturday night and the irregular part size needed to fix the leak required a search of the local area plumbing supply companies during off hours to find the right parts and fittings. By Sunday morning the parts were acquired and we began work to fix the pipe so the grocery store could open Sunday as if nothing ever happened.
From the moment the first call was received, our team was able to mobilize, identify, correct, clean up and complete this onerous job in less than 48 hours, not knowing we would get a few curve balls along the way to make the job more difficult than initially thought. Our team kept in contact with our client, property management, and grocery store management throughout the process–at all hours of the day and night–to make sure everyone knew exactly what was happening.
No matter the challenge, the Watterson team is willing to step up and assist our clients in time of need. We accepted the job and delivered the results our clients asked for within an incredibly limited amount of time. This why I am proud to be part of the Watterson team.
Rob Robinett, Vice President Facilities Management.