West Virginia Rural Water Assists School for the Deaf and Blind After Water Break


Romney, W.V. – A massive line break in Romney, W.V. cut service to the West Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in Romney, W.V., disrupting classes and forcing the students living on campus to relocate. The school contacted the West Virginia Rural Water Association for assistance.

“I contacted one of our Circuit Riders to provide emergency leak detection,” said WVRWA Executive Director Amy Swann. Circuit Riders are roving water professionals that provide on-site technical assistance to water and wastewater utilities.

Bertis McCarty rearranged his schedule to provide leak detection and other assistance. He met with Patrick McCord, Maintenance Supervisor for the school.

“We located the leak behind the cafeteria under a handicap ramp,” McCarty explained.

The leak was approximately seven feet below the surface and took nearly two days to uncover. Once the leak was repaired, the school and City of Romney started working to restore service. The city even donated some water pipe and fittings so that the school did not have to wait for delivery to begin repairs.

“Rick Davis, supervisor for the City of Romney was an invaluable part of the equation,” McCarty said.

Rural Water’s assistance saved the school roughly $3,000 per month in lost water but the benefits of the assistance went far beyond money saved.

“The costs to the facility and the community would be hard to measure in dollars,” McCarty said. “The students living on campus were displaced for seven days.”

Rural Water’s assistance ensured school could resume classes as quickly as possible.

“Needless to say, it was a very stressful situation for us,” the school’s superintendent, Dr. Martin Keller, Jr., said in a letter. “I wanted to personally thank Amy and Bertis as well as your association for your assistance.”