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Dominion Donates New Pump For Pine Grove Sewage System

By Staff | Jul 13, 2017

David Ray (Dominion Energy) poses with FedEx delivery, which delivered Pine Grove's new sewage system pump. Also present, to receive the pump, were Pine Grove employees Bill Williams and Eric Adams.

The future is looking a bit brighter for the Town of Pine Grove, thanks to a very generous donation from community-partner, Dominion Energy. Dominion Energy has donated a brand new pump for the town’s sewage system.

The town has been been in dire need of a pump so that the sewage system’s “vac plant” is able to operate the way it was designed. The original pump had failed and was not reparable; the town, for the past few weeks, has been operating one pump manually to keep up with the large amounts of water used daily.

In the meantime, residents of Pine Grove had been struggling to complete everyday tasks — such as laundry and dishwashing. After the pump had failed, residents were asked not to flush their toilets. Despite making some repairs to the system, so that residents could then flush their toilets, residents were still asked not to complete more than two loads of laundry. Also, residents at the lower end of town were still experiencing sewage in their homes.

Though residents were not angry with town officials, they were very much frustrated with the situation itself.

“There are several with sewage coming up in their homes,” one resident had noted.

The Town of Pine Grove received this brand new pump for its sewage system, thanks to Dominion Energy. Present for the FedEx delivery was David Ray (Dominion Energy) and Pine Grove employees Eric Adams and Bill Williams.

All residents agreed that the smell was awful.

“The smell is unreal The smell is unreal that is coming up in peoples’ homes and basements and yards We have smelled sewage for two weeks solid,” a resident said.

“We haven’t been able to flush and bathe. We wash our hair with a bucket on the porch,” another resident had reported.

It was noted by residents that some of their fellow neighbors had rented portable toilets.

According to Christine Mitchell, External Affairs Representative for Dominion, Pine Grove would have been able to get a rebuilt pump for around $6,000, or a new one for $9,000, “but the lead time was eight to nine weeks.” The pump is a Flygt brand, made in Sweden

David Ray (Dominion Energy) unloads Pine Grove's new sewage system pump, while Town of Pine Grove workers Eric Adams and Bill Williams, stand by. (Photos provided)

“Dominion has been a part of this community for well over 100 years, and when Ray Seech, Director of Pipeline Operations, learned of the issue from an employee who has been dealing with the sewage problems, he instructed our warehouseman, David Ray, to find a pump as quickly as possible… because it was simply the right thing to do to be a ‘good neighbor’ to the town and its residents.”

Mitchell said Ray was able to use his contacts to find a pump in the United States. However, the pump Ray found did not have a leak sensor, which is a safety feature needed to shut down the pump in the event the electrical housing is breached with water, to avoid injury.

“Safety is one of Dominion Energy’s core values, and although the modification added one day to the expected delivery date, David wanted to be sure the pump was safe and in the same design as the original system,” Mitchell said.

“David found, purchased, and donated the pump to the town in less than four days, not the eight to nine week time frame that the town was being told by vendors they had contacted.”

Mitchell said the pump was air-freighted to Pittsburgh from Tennessee and then delivered to Dominion’s Hastings warehouse via FedEx. Town workers Bill Williams and Eric Adams arrived to take possession of the pump when it arrived, so that they could begin installation.

Even local FedEx Delivery personnel posed for a photo, in celebration of Pine Grove's new pump, for its sewage system. FedEx driver Gary, poses with David Ray (Dominion Energy) and Bill Williams, Town of Pine Grove worker. Also present was Pine Grove employee Eric Adams.

At Pine Groves July 11 council meeting, Mayor Barbara King broke the news of the gift from Dominion Energy. She spoke of the cost of the pump, noting that it is around $9,000 to $10,000.

“That is a phenomenal amount of money,” King noted.

King said hearing the news of the pump “is a little bit like Christmas.”

King, and other town officials, have not been remiss in giving credit to local individuals and businesses who have helped the town in the past few weeks. King has thanked MarkWest, Erb Electric, Energy Transport, RDR Energy, and Gumps Septic, along with town workers, for donations and extra time put toward the town’s sewage system.