Donald W. Harrington, a pioneer in PVC and ductile iron pipe fittings who founded Harco Fittings in the mid-1960s, died July 17 in Lynchburg. He was 81.
After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Harrington obtained his bachelor's degree in civil engineering. Soon after graduating, he founded Harrington Construction, and built underground water and sewer lines. Then he worked for eight years as the manager of technical services for the Cast Iron Pipe Research Association.
In 1963, he co-founded Ductile Iron Co. of America, where he developed his first ductile iron compact fittings, now used in water systems worldwide.
Harrington founded Harrington Corp. and Harco Fittings in Lynchburg in 1966. The company makes injection molded PVC fittings and push-on, gasketed joint ductile fittings. In 1997, he founded another Lynchburg company, Bates & Harrington, which produced fabricated fittings for water and sewer markets, and marketed several patented products.
Today, Harco employs 136.
Harrington was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He was a lifetime member of the American Waterworks Association and ASTM.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Patricia. Also surviving are his four sons, Mike, Steve, Doug and Greg, who purchased Harco from him in 1997.