Monday, December 26, 2011

My Very First Boil Water Order

It started with a Knock On The Door.

No, no "Black Hawk Helicopters In The Night".  You've been watching too much bad TV.

My neighbor across the street asked me if I had any water pressure as they were going to prepare for the next day's holiday dinner.   It was December 24th, and she had work to do!

So I walked to the sink and turned on the spigot.  Just a trickle.  This would be interesting.

I put a big container under the trickle and captured 1/2 gallon of the last of the tap water.  Running through my head was the old BBC drama about nuclear war in Sheffield England called "Threads".  The city was ruined by bombs.  The protagonist walks to the tap and gets that same trickle as it runs out.  I look out the Kitchen Window and think I'm in a much better place.  After all, I still had glass in my windows and this was just a minor inconvenience as the trickle stops and becomes a sucking sound.

Getting news these days is easier, you just don't have to worry for the talking heads to lie to you on the one eyed babysitter, you can get your misinformation like everyone else, online.  In my case, I sat back in the comfy chair and checked my Facebook news feed. 

Once I got the thing back to where it belonged - Chronological Order that is.   Hey Zuckerberg, nice try but whatever algorithm you're using to sort things into a "news feed" is useless. 

Friends were making comments that there was no water pressure throughout North Broward County.   It turned out that Wilton Manors, Oakland Park and Fort Lauderdale were effected by a water main break in Oakland Park and we were going to have no pressure for a couple hours that night.

I still had two cases of those bottles on hand, turned off the ice maker since there was a full bin, and plenty to spare for me, the dog, and the parrot.

Water here usually has a brown tinge to it and it took me a while to get used to thinking that was "normal".  No wonder why Floridians drink so much filtered and bottled water.

When growing up, I never gave it much thought.  I lived in Cherry Hill, NJ.  Water was always there, crystal clear, and some of the best stuff I have ever had from the tap anywhere even if it did smell slightly of Chlorine.

Let me say that again.  Anywhere.

We never had any weird water main breaks or for that matter power outages.  Sure, it would get cold but you just don't get things like Hurricanes, or at least you didn't until this year when Irene paid the Jersey Shore a visit.  

The next morning I tested the tap and it was back to normal for about five seconds.  Then out came a burp of air and water that looked like someone dumped chalk into the tap.  It came out white for a bit then went for what passes for clear.

Boil Water Order in effect until Monday.  At that point it was a day away, this was Xmas and I had a day to get through.

No problem there right?  You have to boil water anyway to make coffee, especially in a french press.  Except a boil water order means if it goes in you, it has to boil at a rolling boil for a solid minute minimum.   It still is brown but it comes out with all the nasties dead.

Everyone likes dead nasties, right?

They taste better that way.   A little e-coli will ruin your day.   A lot will kill you.

They're planning on lifting the boil water order at noon today.  The stuff in the tap can go "on me, not in me" so showers and laundry are fine.  

On the other hand, to do your toothbrushing you have an interesting dance to do. 

It's all rather amusing...

First, assuming there is no bottled water in the house, you have to boil water and let it boil for a solid minute.

Second Rinse the Tooth brush and do your normal brushing.  This is over the kitchen sink, right?  After all, you'll be needing that kettle full of water to go through the motions of cleaning the brush and rinsing.

Now that you're through, how do you rinse?  After all the water was boiling just three minutes ago.  Did you reserve some from the last batch?   You'll find yourself boiling a lot of water just to go through the motions.

This morning when I went to make coffee, I found myself at the kettle three different times.   Once for Coffee, Once for Tea, Once for me for later.

I could have opened the bottled water, but why?   After all, it gives me an excuse to make more coffee.

So if I look really, REALLY awake, you'll know why!

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