The recent water boil advisory got me thinking about how much we take water for granted Other places in the US may have water boil advisories every once in a while. But New Orleans, well we’ve had at least two (that I can think of) in the past 6 months.
First off, what is a water boil advisory? It means that the water treatment system got all jacked up (ie: pressure or momentary power loss). Then the whole city has to boil their water in order for it to be potable (safe to drink). This throws everyone into a tizzy because all of our daily routines are seriously affected. You probably shouldn’t shower, get water in your eyes, mouth, open wounds (ok, maybe not). In order to drink the water you must first boil it to kill everything, this ain’t no run of the mill Brita filtration situation. Restaurants need to change recipes and can’t offer fountain drinks, teas or…ice water. It’s basically a really huge pain in the ass.
But, this got me thinking.
Millions of people deal with non-potable water every single day for their entire life. Millions of people have to first travel miles to get water, no turn of the handle, or wait in line at a community well. Millions of people have to boil their water before doing anything, ever. Or they don’t/can’t boil their water and will likely to contract any number of horrible waterborne diseases or parasites (read the symptoms, they are all pretty gnarly).
Here are some basic water facts from water.org It’s really interesting, you should check it out.
The point? Yea having to boil your water really sucks, but maybe that should help us put into perspective how lucky we are that we even having running water to begin with.