Tagged: disaster

Taking the steam out of boil water order

watermainThe first hint of something not exactly right was when the stream of water coming out of my shower head was roughly as weak as a pee from a man with a faulty prostate.  Hint number two was the sound of a loud cough coming from my bathroom sink faucet once I turned the tap. Sounded about the same as an Englishman with his mad dog out in the midday sun.  I gave these hydro-aberrations little thought until early this morning when I attempted to fill the coffee pot and all that dripped from the tap was enough H20 to fill a thimble. After scratching my head and thinking of doing the same to my ass I checked my phone for any overnight emails or messages.  That’s where the mystery was solved. A water main had cracked a few miles from my house the evening before and ruined tea time for more than 600-thousand people in the area. 

The headline was dire and direct: “Mandatory boil water in effect for the following cities and towns! Don’t drink, wash, bathe, slosh or spit until you have allowed the water to boil for a minute or more.” Then, I suppose, you had complete permission to scald yourself to your heart’s delight.

So I had no choice but to hop in my car and head downtown to my part–time job 26 miles away in Detroit, allowing me the opportunity to hear non-stop on the all-news radio station that everyone affected by the water crisis was essentially screwed until at least Friday night.  The reason for the delay? The water people don’t keep a spare 48-inch diameter pipe handy for such disasters, so a section of the four-foot wide main would need to be trucked in from Illinois and installed. Then water pressure would be slowly built back up and the water tested to make sure it did not contain the type of bacteria causing President Trump to emulate the man who inspired a famous Edvard Munch painting.


I attempted to buy bottled water but all I could find was a single six-pack of grape-flavored agua. I did see a couple of bottles of Pellegrino water in one shopper’s cart, but I did not deem such a disaster was the time for pretentiousness. I must admit, however, it would be pretty sparkling bathing in a tub of lightly bubbled spritz.

As a provider for my little family, I used all of my survival instincts to come through with one logical course of action. Find a water source that was easily transportable, and totally potable. I need look only at the top shelf of my fridge where a thoroughly chilled 12-pack of Sam Adams seasonal brews were foaming over the chance to be of public service.  My family was not nearly as enthused over my solution as they prefer a nice dry, red. I was only too happy to return to the market, pass the empty water shelves and snicker as I bought a case of Cabernet, feeling a little drunk with smugness, and Sam Adams, that my dear neighbors hadn’t had that same Eureka moment.

So now we’re all set. Ready to ride out this temporary situation for the next couple of days. We won’t need to boil water at all. We’re all cooked.