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Reflections: Water main break brings out the best in us

Recently there was a water main break on our street. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? However, from the reactions of the residents of our building, it became a major happening.
tap-water
(Supplied)

Recently there was a water main break on our street. 
 

Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? However, from the reactions of the residents of our building, it became a major happening.

The excavator dug a huge hole trying to find exactly where that leak was located. That took quite some time as it turned out. Naturally, we had no water from late afternoon on. Many creative ways were found to mitigate that problem, such as filling the bath tub and containers to put in the fridge for drinking water, brushing teeth and other necessities for which that precious liquid is needed.

The city dispatched a tank of drinking water holding 1,000 litres, which was an immense help. All manner of containers were brought to that potable water source to be filled and carried back up to the apartments. That city tank was eventually emptied and another was needed and provided.

Now for whatever reason, we did not realize anything about this water disaster until I spoke with a neighbour who informed me of the situation. Down the elevator we went to be met with many residents who had gathered in front of the building chatting with great excitement with everyone about this problem. 

The men, though, knew they were needed to supervise the city workers. 

What is it about a big hole and large machinery that attracts men of all ages to be where the action is?

Some, using canes, also went up the street to ensure that they would not miss anything and in case their advice was required. They were there literally for hours!

Really!

Eventually, the exact location of the leak was discovered and the male residents felt it was all right at last to come home, confident their expertise was no longer required.

The women were most concerned about their personal hygiene. It was suggested that to solve this problem, we walk over to the lovely splash pad nearby in our bathing suits, shower there, wash our hair and since there are portable toilets located there as well, our health needs would be met. Some were uncertain that this would be a satisfactory solution though, visualizing themselves and their neighbours in bathing suits. It was a comedic end to our water catastrophe.

When we arose the next morning, we were informed that the problem was nearly solved — cold water was now available. Later on in the day, hot water could be used as well. To the showers everyone! Please?

Erna de Burger-Fex is a writer and retired teacher who writes about aging and the funny side of getting older. Got a question for Erna? editor@sudbury.comEmail editor@sudbury.com.




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