Boil Water Notice
Well, wouldn’t you know it? Thanksgiving holiday, everyone buggin out, business and municipalities closing early, and we get a cable contractor roll into town to bore a new line for their cable customer. Naturally, they proceed to sever our secondary, but main, water line.
We have two main lines feeding us. One is an old 6″ AC (Asbestos Concrete), and the other is an 8″ PVC (Schedule 900). Of course, they hit the AC line, spilling our entire water supply. Water tower, empty. Surface tanks, empty. Distribution lines, empty.
Our main water department employee is (after a double knee replacement) rehabbing. Our primary contractor is headed to Abilene for the holidays. The office was closed early, as a reward for a job well done and some needed time off, for the girls.
Calls went out and people went to work. That water department employee was available on the telephone. Others showed up. Pumps were turned off (to keep them from burning up). Girls returned to work to answer a couple of hundred telephone calls. They prepared and placed the notices, notified all businesses, called the fire department, got notices to every door, contacted television stations, and arranged telephone notifications (via country response system) to all affected residents. The State was notified, and the crews gathered. Fortunately, we had the parts (inventory) on hand. Just a few years ago this would not have even been thought of. (Not only did the town not have the money to afford an inventory, but it didn’t have the people to think of having an inventory)
The work, as I write, is progressing. The contractor has been stopped. The police have made sure that they will not return, like they had planned, on Friday to complete their job. (We will not release them until the holiday, and weekend, have ended and people return to work.) The line has been uncovered, the splice cut, and the clamps (and they are big ones) are ready to be attached. Hopefully everything will be put back in place, and the new fix will hold the pressures of a fully charged 8″ water line, with miles of water behind it.
If it does, then the process of re-charging the system will begin. With that will come the long process of flushing out the entire system. Fire hydrants and flush out valves will be used to do this job. It will take us about 24 hours to re-charge the system. Once completed, and the air is removed from the system, water samples will be taken and sent to the lab for analysis. Once the analysis comes back, and it’s declared to be clean, the State will be notified and should release the boil water notice. Life will return to normal.
This is the amount of work that municipalities have to go through to be sure that our drinking water is safe. Residents, though inconvenienced, are simply waiting in their homes. Hoping to still have a Thanksgiving to be grateful for.
What this did do, however, is to show us (again) how vulnerable we really are. How vulnerable all of us are. Although we have good people in every slot, and were able to respond like few others could have (Try taking your entire town off line completely and see how long it takes it to get back up and running with a clean bill of health), this shows us just how much we are at risk. No water? No hygiene, no bathroom, no cooking, no drinking. No shit. Literally!
Now I might be able to address, again, the possibility I have been working towards. That of a well, with a reverse osmosis purification system.
We removed one of our surface tanks a few years ago, and made the room for just such a system. It is on the same plot of land where our other surface tank and pump house are located. Perfect location, with easy access. Cinder block walls would protect it from observation and hazard. A system like this could pay for itself in a matter of a couple of years, and insure the town’s complete (100%) autonomy. It is the last piece of the puzzle for this place to indeed be a Citadel. Fort Winfield.
We have generation, surface water, land, railroad, interstate highway, state highway, and location, location, location. On the County line between two other larger, but still small (under 14,000 pop.) agricultural towns, we are in the perfect place for an old fashioned trading post. Think that this is out of the question? Think again.
This is the reason why we should all get involved. Only through our direct involvement will any of us be truly prepared for what many of us know is coming. Only through the daily investment of our time, our brains, our persuasion, and our results, will anything actually change. Yes, we can buy bullets and beans. We can armor up. We can take every precaution for the coming storm. What good will that do when what is heading our way might not actually be a tornado, but a giant tsunami?
Do we have time? I don’t know. Will we get our own water source and treatment facility? I don’t know. What I do know is that nothing will get done without effort. I know that life is not on this keyboard, but in the field. The field of life. If it turns out to be insufficient, so be it. At least we tried. I know that, as things already stand, we will outlive our neighbors. Is that enough? No. But then, we are not finished yet. This was but another one of those ‘awakenings’ for us here.
What are you doing? What are you actually doing? What are you really doing?
Get involved. Do it for yourself. Or don’t cry when the boogie man shows up at your house. Which he surely will. No one can survive alone. To think that you can, is to bullshit yourself. You can bullshit yourself all you want. As long as you don’t live around me, or mine. I, for one, will not waste a split second on anyone that lives on bullshit. Will not speak, nor intertwine myself, with the ‘already dead’.