Two stainless steel line stops, manufactured swiftly by Total Piping Solutions of Haskell Road, are shown just before they are loaded onto a plane at Cattaraugus County Olean Airport on Tuesday. The stops were bound for Danbury, Conn., which faced a major water crisis after a break on a 16-inch main water line.

When the city of Danbury, Conn., faced a major water crisis earlier this week because of a broken 16-inch main waterline, an Olean-area company — Total Piping Solutions of Haskell Road — came to the rescue.

As thousands of gallons of water were lost per minute and a third of the city was without water service — including a local hospital — Danbury officials could not find a manufacturer that could supply line stops to cap the flow. Desperate, Danbury officials reached out to Total Piping Solutions, a manufacturer of pipe-repair fittings and tapping products.

“I contacted Daryl Piontek, president of operations and engineering, and advised that we had an emergency situation on our hands and needed to pull together our production team,” says Barb Langenhan, customer service manager of TPS. “Our team reacted quickly and within four hours had fabricated two all stainless steel line stops that were driven to the Olean Municipal Airport where a private plane was waiting.”

The two sleeves were loaded onto the plane with Antonio Iadorola of the Danbury Water Authority and flown to Danbury, where they were properly installed — and water restored.

The Danbury News Times reported: “If not for a special part fabricated in a few hours by a New York company and flown to the city Tuesday, the situation could have been much worse. Crews might have been forced to shut off a 30-inch main, depriving three-quarters of the city of service.”

As it was, Danbury firefighters were distributing bottled water to residents affected by the interruption of water service. Residents across the city were asked to voluntarily limit their water use and the local hospital could not serve food in its cafeteria. On top of that, students at Western Connecticut State University, which has been battling an outbreak of norovirus, were advised not to wash their hands with tap water and instead to use more than 6,000 bottles of water that were provided on campus.

All this as crews struggled to stop the massive water system leak.

But then, as Iadorola told the Connecticut newspaper, the custom pieces from TPS arrived and were used to stop water flow on the 16-inch line. Water service had returned to normal as of Thursday evening, although cleaning and restoring the site of the break will continue into the weekend, city officials said.

All thanks to the quick, professional work of an Olean manufacturer.

Olean Times Herald