Monday, May 3, 2010

The Humbling Of Weston

A huge water main break happened right here in my home town on Saturday, causing more than 2 million people in Massachusetts to be left without clean tap water. The break caused a water crisis unseen in the states history. An immediate order for residents to boil tap water rapidly for at least one minute before using the water for cooking and drinking was issued for the 30 local communities that were effected. On Saturday, while at work, I received a pre-recorded call from the town stating that there had been a water break, but that Weston's water supply had not been compromised. Then, two hours later, I received another pre-recorded call ordering Weston residents to boil our tap water, as it had now been deemed unsafe.

The confusion really set in when in just a few hours later, the phone rang again with the news that Weston's water supply was safe and there was no need to boil water. A scrawling message was broadcast on the local TV stations, all night, listing the affected town's water supplies, and Weston was not one of them. Turns out, it happened here, but it did not affect us. Local TV news aired the mayhem across the state, as people swarmed supermarkets with panic, depleting their supplies of any and all bottled water. Restaurants were forced to either shut down, or limit their service and coffee shops were all but put out of business for a day or two.

It makes one think about how much we take for granted. How lucky we are that we can turn the faucet on in our marbled bathrooms and not think much about the safety of the water that streams through it. About how when something like this happens, we can travel in our gassed up autos, to our food filled grocery stores and buy ample supplies of bottled water with the money in our wallets. About the fact that we have the electricity/gas to allow us to boil the water deemed unsafe and that we can afford to be inconvenienced for a few days.

There are so many others in the world who cannot say the same.
I, for one, am humbled, and although I have not been affected, this crisis makes me think about those who live without safe water on a daily basis.

And I wonder why such a disparity exists between people in the world. As I turn on my faucet and brush my teeth this morning, I will think about why I am part of the hundreds of millions who can.


wigsf said...

It's events such as these that put our petty squabbles into perspective. We have clean water, electricity, natural gas, indoor plumbing all the time. Then we also have bonuses like cellphones and cable TV.

the walking man said...

Money. There is no money to be made in developing the arid lands of them who have no clean safe water. There is no way to exploit that land for profit and so them that live and eek a living from it are pretty much left to their own devices.

You have marble in your that where you lost them?

RW said...

I feel sorry for the folks who have a stone in place of their hearts and don't have this kind of reflection from time to time.

Good morning Candy.

Scott Oglesby said...

You remember what happened to me over Christmas when we didn’t have water, electricity or heat for two weeks? It really opens your eyes to how so much of the world has to live and makes you reconsider some of your own, everyday worries. I try to imagine that everyday now, just to stay in perspective.

Heff said...

It's the loss of electricity that always freaks me out.

Scope said...

Makes you realize how fragile our society is in some ways, too.

Growing up on the farm, we were the last house on the electric line. When the power was out, there was no pump, so no water. But we were lucky. We hand an old hand pump that we put a bit of linen over (to screen out the bugs) and then had water for drinking, or a bucket to flush with.

One summer, we went a week without power...

The Dental Maven said...

Always makes me mad as a hatter when the electric goes out!

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