Elderly Chesterfield couple gets help with pipe repairs

By Melissa Correa - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It's not something Chesterfield County usually does. But when the pipes burst at an elderly couple's home, it helped them avoid a disaster.

For more than a month, it looked like storm clouds hovered over Charles Ashworth's home.

"Water was everywhere," Ashworth said.

"Water was just running down the driveway, the water meter was spinning around very fast. You could tell they had a big leak," said Bill Dupler, Chesterfield County building inspections.

The water pipes, which had never been replaced, finally burst. Charles was unaware of the problem until he received last month's water bill.

"$350 -- there isn't any way we can pay it," Ashworth said. "We're retired and we're on a fixed income of less than $1,200 a month."

Fearing he and his sick wife would loose their water, Charles called a repairman for an estimate.

"To do the work, the man said it would cost $1,500," Ashworth said.

Charles phoned the county's community development office. Which then called building inspections.

"This isn't really a normal thing for us in building inspections, but we're glad to help," Dupler said.

"I called the plumber, C&L Plumbing, Richard Cunningham and asked him -- would he consider doing this?, that there'd be nothing in it for him and he volunteered right away," Dupler said.

Tuesday, C&L Plumbing inspected the leaky driveway. A two-man crew went to work Wednesday. Replacing the water pipes for free.

It's a random act of kindness just in the nick of time -- freezing temperatures would've turned this driveway into a slippery slope.

Today, the 75-year old is thankful Chesterfield County was able to help.

"Thinking about thanking God and praising Him and the people that helped us," Ashworth said.

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