October 10th, 2021


a day of water boiling

Thursday I was just finishing work up when marc called and asked if I'd heard about the boil order. nope! a city water main had broken and everyone in wichita was told not to drink water without boiling it first. they said we can shower and bathe and wash our hands. we can wash dishes, but sanitize them afterwards with a tiny bit of bleach in water.

now, there are two ways one can react to such news:

1) you can go home and boil a pot of water. or...

in wichita, we like to stick with what we know - option 2. marc said the grocery stores were ransacked, people were going crazy and buying every bottled form of anything, buying 10x the food they'd usually get, stocking up for the apocalypse. marc laughed. when he lived on the reservation they always boiled drinking water, and half these people don't even drink water!

wichita state shut off all water. they brought in porta-potties for the dorm kids to use the bathroom. I had friends harboring dorm students all over town, refugees from the rash administrative decision to end all forms of indoor plumbing.

we do try to keep some bottled water around for camping trips or, you never know, the apocalypse... but recently we ran out so we didn't have any. oh well. this was a reminder to stock up later.

we were fine. schools were closed on friday... which I kind of understand. kids all bring water bottles and if there's no good way to refill them, call it a day. I took an extra thermos of coffee to work to keep myself caffeinated while some guys tried to hack our breakroom coffee pot so it could use distilled water instead of water straight from the lines. a notice came out that the drinking water machines we have around had filtration systems better than boiling so we had water the drink. cool.

I also read that dishwashers were safe to use if they have a sanitize cycle. ours does! I didn't know it, and never used it, and you can't use it with the 1 hour quick wash, but now I can say I learned a thing.

On saturday a notice came out that the water all fine and had never had any bad bacteria anyway so we could go back to normal. a miracle! thank goddess we survived.

I wish I could pretend that people rushing out for pallets of bottled water were stocking up for neighbors in need - people with no access to a place to boil water, affected by homelessness, dependent on city water - but let's not kid ourselves.