Friday, March 14, 2014

When The Water Came Back Again

In the end we were without water for one month.

{To recap, we'd had 2 separate people suggest that the frozen water line we were dealing with was not our own. Thus, we couldn't do anything to fix it. When made aware of the situation, our city's initial response was to take no action on our behalf. They hooked us up with a hose from our neighbor's house, so we had "running water", but were told not to use that water for anything other than toilets and laundry due to possible contamination. In addition to the restrictions with the hose, it kept freezing in the frigid temps, despite our keeping a steady flow of water going through it.}

After being told to "wait until it thawed" and not to worry since it was, "just until spring", I took my plea to our city council members. Surely someone in our town must think our situation deserved a little concern. No sooner had my email reached their collective desktops than a flurry of activity followed. First, the city provided us with bottled water. (Finally we had a healthy supply of clean water available for kitchen use and cleaning. That was the first step towards feeling normal.) Next,they sent out 2 additional technicians to attempt to figure out where in the line (and on whose side) the freeze truly was. Both parties determined the freeze was not on our line.

On Tuesday of this week the city sent a street crew to dig the pipeline in the road, hoping to get to the root of the problem once and for all. They arrived early, anticipating a quick find and easy fix; they stayed for the next 5 hours. It turned out the freeze was located right off the main, very much not anywhere near our line at all. Adding to the turmoil was the discovery that the last generation who'd worked this particular stretch of pipe had placed it just 2 feet under our brick street. It lay vulnerable and quite freezable ever since.

When the street crew announced that they'd found and repaired the freeze, I was hesitant to believe them. When they told me to go check our faucets, I was weary of any hope that this had somehow worked. I tentatively turned on the kitchen faucet, wincing in anticipation of yet another failure. The torrent of water that I saw surpassed my wildest expectations.

It was back. Water had found its way into our house again.

The sight was beautiful. In a very strange way, we'd gotten used to what we called our "Situation". But here I was, looking at water flowing through my faucets, from our own pipes. It was amazing. Honestly.

One month doesn't set any records. I know that. But what it did do was give me an appreciation for those faucets in our house. I have new understanding of just how much water I use to do simple things: wash produce, wash dishes, brush our teeth. That's what happens when you are doing all of that with gallon jugs of water; it's all highly measurable.

In a way, I'm thankful for our little misadventure because I know we're taking something out of it. We've gained a little bit of gratitude for something we absolutely took for granted before. I'm not going to sign up for it again, mind you, but I am grateful for the chance to be made aware, just the same.


  1. Nothing looks better than a tap gushing with water after a month of staying dry! While you're right that "a month" isn't "a record", no one should've been able to go through that in this day and age. Was this not the first time you didn't email the city council members? It's odd that they took action now. Who knew they'd spring into action in such short notice?
    Jimmy Depetris @

  2. No water for a month? This is what a generation of pipeline problems will do to you. Ouch. And it must’ve been more frustrating that the problem wasn’t even your fault, and they can’t assure anything more than 'wait until it thawed'. Well, the silver lining is that you’ve learned to be grateful about the thing that you admittedly took advantage before. Hopefully, that would be the last time you’ll have major plumbing problems concerning your water lines. Take care!

    Lovella Cushman @ Perfection Plumbing

  3. Yikes! One month without water running in your faucet must have been really troublesome. It's good to know that, after the street crew fixed the frozen piping outside, the water was back. I could feel how happy you are to see water flowing out again in your faucet. In any way, thanks for sharing this experience, Amanda! All the best to you!

    Tracy Romero @ Harris Plumbing