West Virginia’s water is still being heavily tested. Some areas are still undergoing extreme flushing to rid their homes and businesses of the chemical infused water. Most places of business sport signs that notify of their reliance only on bottled water in their services, except for fountain drinks. Nobody’s yet figured out how to hook those machines up to a fresh water supply.
Most residents in the affected areas still smell the chemicals in their own water and have opted to use bottled water for everything, heating it up to wash dishes and to bathe, and doing laundry in the sink. Some have relaxed to the point of using tap water for bathing, dishes, and laundry, but refuse to ingest it, opting for bottled water for coffee and cooking needs. Some have thrown caution to the wind and have learned to like the taste of licorice.
My home is divided. Two of us fall into the second category – just simply refusing to ingest it. Husband says he’s not scared and uses the tap water for everything. I admire his bravery. I guess if his ears start to turn blue, we’ll know it wasn’t a wise decision. Until then I suppose I should stop worrying.
The sudden changes in temperature have caused numerous homes to experience frozen water pipes, sometimes causing real damage before they were thawed out by the next day’s spring weather. We don’t know if it’s the rapid changes in temperature or the ongoing flushing, or a combination of both, that have caused several water mains in the area to break, leaving thousands without even the smell of licorice to pervade their homes.
This makes flushing difficult and brings with it a whole new odor. Think ancient Rome.
For a day or two, we had just enough water coming into the house that we could use a cupful at a time. The lack of pressure meant that toilets would fill up eventually, and it made bathing a little inconvenient, but it was do-able. And those who wouldn’t have bathed with it anyway have already figured out something else. But now there’s no water coming into the house at all.
We’ve also had some pipe issues lately, but not from freezing as you’d suspect. There’s a clog in the line someplace between the house and the septic tank. We have a guy coming to snake the line, but the weather’s been so bad, and plumbers are in such high demand at the moment, that it will be a couple of days yet before he can get here. Which means that we have to be incredibly careful what goes down the drain. It’s a little easier now that there’s no water at all coming in.
I now know that melting down enough snow to flush a toilet requires the collection of it in half a pickup truck, melting in a pot slowly to make room for more additions of snow as it melts. I know that three Kool-Aid pitchers full of snow will melt down to a sufficient amount to bath one body and wash the thinning hair of one old woman.
I also know that venturing outside in house slippers, wrapped up in an afghan, carrying a soup pot and a serving spoon, drives the dog absolutely nuts.