No H2O

Journal

No H2O

It’s been a weird 24 hours without water here in Helensburgh. At some point yesterday a water main at the far east end of town ruptured, cutting off supply to some 6000 homes.

Of course, the first we knew about it was when I got home and went to wash my hands to discover there was hardly any pressure there. This led to me wandering down to the kitchen and unwittingly draining away the last of what little we had in the tank in trying to investigate the problem.

Soon after that a neighbour stopped by to warn us of the bigger issue and advised that they were giving water away at a couple of places around the town. Fliss went off and picked up a six pack of two litre bottles, which we’ve used sparingly.

Initially the report on the Scottish Water Response website said that it would be fixed by midnight, so I expected to have water for my shower by the time I got up at 07:00. Not so, it turned out. I opted to work from home rather than add my smelly carcus to the – no doubt – very smelly 08:04 express to Glasgow. I dread to think what the ticket collector smelled like this morning – they aren’t exactly renowned for personal hygiene at the best of times! 😉

Today hasn’t been too bad – the free stuff has lasted well and Fliss went and got more as a precaution. We did notice one of our neighbours coming back with several car loads of free water – for the life of me I don’t know why she needed it all, but then some folk will take all they can get when things are free, sadly. The worst thing has been not being able to flush the toilet – so glad I didn’t have anything too spicy for dinner, yesterday!

Fortunately, the latest update on the Scottish Water Response website says that the Helensburgh water main has now been fixed and we can expect supplies to return this evening. I’m looking forward to jumping in the shower as soon as the pressure is back – I just can’t go a day without getting all sparkly clean.

24 hours is nothing, I know, and I remember reading accounts of people that holed themselves up in New Orleans as huricane Katrina hit and the first thing that really hit them was the lack of water. Spoiled by the luxury of living in a well developed country, I think I might just be too sheltered by the infrastructure that allows us to take fresh running water for granted to know how to cope when it’s suddenly snatched away.

Just as well I live in Scotland, then – with the stuff falling out of the sky in copious quantities for over 300 days of the year I shouldn’t ever have to endure too long without H2O.