12 ON YOUR SIDE: Company helps NBC12 viewer fix water leak

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It was a major job that would have drained her bank account faster than the water leak causing all the problems.

When Linda Smith contacted 12 On Your Side a few months ago, she had an $1,100 bill and no hope of affording repairs.

The City of Richmond turned the water back on for the family, giving NBC12 time to find a company willing and able to help with such a large job. R.J. Tilley accepted and got two other companies to help.

"It makes me feel good because I was getting water from neighbors. Going to my daughter's to bathe," said Carlton Smith.

"12 On Your Side was able to get the people at City Hall to listen. I had made so many calls there," said Linda Smith. "We just got down to our last penny. We didn't have anything."

The City threatened a property lien and said fixing the leak was the Smith's responsibility. Desperate, that's when Linda called 12.

"I'm ecstatic. I am really glad that Ms. Walker came out to assist us. She really stepped up to the plate. Channel 12 and R.J. Tilley."

The company boss calls it a good-size job but an honor for them to give back when they can.

"We've been in Richmond about 36 years and the community has always been good to us," said Steven Kern.

R.J. Tilley used a trencher to dig a new water line and install new pipes from the meter, across the yard, all the way to the house. Finding the leak in the old pipe was too difficult.

The new piping was connected and the damaged water line severed never to be used again.

"It feels great. Knowing that somebody needed help, we were fortunate enough to help them."

"If you need any help, try Channel 12," said Linda. "They are there to really help you or point you in the right direction."

That job would have cost between $1,200 and $1,700.

R.J. Tilley took the lead after NBC12 called and got VAMAC to donate materials and Diamond Goodson to lend equipment. NBC12 also thanks the City of Richmond for adjusting the water bill, now that the leak is fixed.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.