Viega LLC has donated 10 press tools to help restore plumbing to Texans affected by last month’s killer freeze.
The 10 new Viega Pressgun Picco 6 tools and ProPress and PureFlow jaws were given to Plumbers Without Borders, a nonprofit that is coordinating volunteer efforts to repair and replace plumbing systems damaged by a week-long deep freeze in Texas.
“Access to clean, flowing water is essential to life,” said Sean Debnath, vice president of sales and marketing, Viega LLC. “We’re happy to put the Pressgun Picco 6 tools in the hands of contractors doing everything they can to restore water to affected Texans.”
“We certainly appreciate all the support we’ve gotten from Viega because it’s a great product and there’s a real need,” added Domenico DiGregorio, president of Plumbers Without Borders. The Seattle-based nonprofit is working with charities Water Mission and the Austin Disaster Relief Network to restore water in Texas’ capital and suburbs.
Approximately 90 volunteer plumbers from as far away as Florida, Ohio and Minnesota have driven trucks and trailers to Texas to help millions without water, DiGregorio said. Others are scheduled to arrive mid-month to help with work that he estimates will take months to complete.
"The Viega tools are being distributed to plumbers who don’t have their own press tools," DiGregorio said. They’re going to be a big help. Viega and other companies have really stepped up."
The donated tools were only part of Viega’s efforts to ease the crisis in Texas. Immediately after the storm, Viega placed all other orders on hold to fill Texas orders first. The company also instituted mandatory, six-days-a-week overtime and hired temporary workers at its distribution center in McPherson, Kansas, to expedite orders.
In the days immediately after the freeze, Viega improvised to overcome the challenge of delivering parts to Texas where power outages meant truckers might not be able to refuel. Instead of sending partially full trucks to individual locations as usual, the company sent completely loaded trucks to a central location in Texas, where customers could pick up products.
“We’ve received very good feedback from the customers about this,” said Lars Erkelenz, director of distribution, Viega LLC. “It’s not a standard practice, but it helped get things there quicker.”
Some customers also placed orders and then sent their own vehicles to the warehouses to pick up products directly, many getting a same-day turnaround.