Monday evening my wife informed me of a noticeable loss of water pressure in our house. After a couple years of flooding due to sump pump failures and a crack in our foundation, my first reaction was “what now?” A quick look at the water valve into our condo and the remainder of the basement found nothing obviously wrong.
My wife later found on Twitter a report of a water main break just a couple of miles from our house. The break in the 48-inch water main caused about a dozen metropolitan Detroit communities to be under a boil water advisory for the rest of the week. One community had no water while some had lower than usual pressure.
In light of the suffering in Puerto Rico, Houston, and Flint, our water “issue” was really a first-world inconvenience. Just the weekend before several members of our church ran in the Detroit Marathon to raise funds for World Vision, which is a charitable organization that focuses on providing clean water in third world countries.
It’s trite, I know, to say that you don’t truly appreciate something until you don’t have it. We boiled water to use for making coffee and brushing teeth. I spoiled two toothbrushes by thoughtlessly rinsing them after brushing, demonstrating how slow my mind functions in the morning.
Now that the boil water advisory has lifted, and we have flushed our water pipes, drained our hot water heater, and replaced the water filter in the fridge, it will likely take little more than a few days for this episode to be behind. Yet every day there are people who walk tens of miles just to retrieve clean water. Those of us who live in countries with treated and running water tend to take for granted our good fortune.