The Secret to an A.Y. McDonald Customer Success Story

When a water main breaks, one of the city’s top priorities is to gain access to this resource again. However, a domino effect may occur throughout the process and fixing the damaged portion of pipe becomes only part of the solution. When a 48” water main burst in the most trafficked area of Central City Philadelphia, PA, A.Y. McDonald pump experts went out of their way to bring access of water back to residents in the area.

July 3, 2018 started out just like any other in the heart of Central City – until a wall of water swallowed up a downtown street, including the buildings along the way. The initial water main break led to the loss of about 15 million gallons of water, temporarily disabling electricity, damaging property, and taking away people’s access to the resource itself.

The weeks after the water main break were a blur as the community tried to pick up the pieces. One building in particular was dealing with a critical issue. All residents of the eight-story apartment building were displaced due to there not being enough water pressure throughout the structure. This was because the current VFD pump that was supplying correct pressure ended up flooding when four feet of water got trapped in the building’s basement on July 3.

Obtaining a replacement VFD pump became a priority but the current supplier gave them an estimated lead time of six weeks. This would mean six weeks of no water and residents would not be allowed back into their apartment until this resource could be restored. Realizing the lead time was unacceptable, an A.Y. McDonald Sales Representative, Michael Rothberg, was contacted by one of our distributors, N&N Supply, on July 12. After explaining the situation, Michael worked with our Pump department and managed to come up with a pump that crossed over the previous one. This took many phone calls about pump specifications and piping diagrams with the contractor of the job, Dave Rodriguez at Dave’s Plumbing. A purchase order (PO) was created on July 20 and the custom VFD pump was delivered to N&N Supply on July 31. However, A.Y. McDonald’s involvement didn’t stop there.

On August 1, Michael Rothberg was made aware that a replacement flange was needed and one was sent over just a day later. On August 3, Dave Rodriguez asked for start-up and an A.Y. McDonald Product Engineer, Larry VanNatta, was able to program the pump from our Dubuque headquarters at 6:00AM (CST) that morning. Yet again, A.Y. McDonald’s involvement didn’t stop there.

Throughout this process, Michael Rothberg noticed that the apartment building’s fire protection pump was also flooded and out of commission. After inquiring about it, he was informed that the pump manufacturer also provided them with a six-week lead time. With A.Y. McDonald’s pump operational, the property owner hired a firm to be on site and act as a fire watch so residents could return after the VFD pump install on August 3.

In the end, A.Y. McDonald was able to save the situation in two and a half weeks, which is less than half of the time estimated from their previous pump provider. In addition, there is no guarantee how the situation of the replacement flange and fire protection pump would have been handled through a different VFD pump provider.

A water main break can be a scary situation for a city – and one that needs to be rectified immediately. The secret to an A.Y. McDonald customer success story is this: while the pump itself was a huge part of what made this job stand apart, it was also our above and beyond customer service along the way that truly sealed the deal. When the products you make and sell are the last obstacle to obtaining water, going the extra mile becomes standard to the operation. Thank you, residents of Central City, for choosing us to help make water work for you!