Friday, January 31, 2014

Salute to the Richmond Department of Public Utilities

I woke up at 3:00 AM this past Wednesday morning feeling a little thirsty. I went to the tap in my kitchen and discovered that my water was off. I live in a very old--but renovated--building with a large and deep basement. I was concerned that a pipe may have frozen and broken within the building and that the basement might be flooding. If that was the case, I wanted to warn my landlord. I got dressed quickly in several layers of clothes and wrapped my head in a woolen cap and two woolen scarves so that only my eyes--covered by eyeglasses--were exposed. I grabbed my camera and headed out into weather that the internet assured me consisted of snow and 10 degree weather. I don't even want to think about what the windchill was.

After a quick circuit of my building, I felt sure that there were no broken water pipes in the building and the basement wasn't flooding. It took just a minute or so to find the reason for the lack of water in my building: a broken water pipe under Canal Street about a block from my building.

As the picture above shows, the City of Richmond's Department of Public Utilities' employees along with contractors from Henkels & McCoy were busy at work at 3:00 AM to restore water service in the midst of a bitterly cold winter storm. I took a picture and went back to bed and when I woke up around 8:00 AM, my water service had been restored. I'm sure that most of my neighbors slept through the entire incident and never even realized their water service had been interrupted. Good job Richmond Department of Public Utilities.

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