It happened with no prior warning. We came home from some out of town errands to find the fire hydrant across the street shooting out water. Not long after that, we discovered that our own water had taken on a nasty brown hue. It didn’t look safe to drink, and indeed, shortly thereafter the town issued a boil water notice. This sort of put a damper on normal household activities. I didn’t want to wash clothes in water that had dirt in it. Same thing for dishes. There was no way I was going to give the kids a bath in brown water. And drinking it was out of the question. Even after I boiled a pot of water, there was sediment in the bottom of the pot. I resorted to filtering the water, boiling the filtered water, and then filtering it again just to be safe. As one might imagine, this was a tedious process. Doing this to get enough water for doing dishes by hand (and rinsing them!) was laborious. But the thing I noticed most was how thirsty I was without an unlimited safe water source.
I like to joke that I live in a hostile environment. As a Michigan transplant to Texas, I’m not at all used to the climate down here. It’s much hotter here, and the sun is a lot more intense. Some days I can’t get enough water. When the heat index is over 100 and the AC runs almost constantly just to keep it at 80, even being inside is dehydrating, and I drink water all day long. Summertime is downright miserable. My poor blonde-haired children are no match for the sun, so I need to be extra vigilant about protecting them, lest they burn or get dehydrated or get heatstroke. Like I said, we’re in a hostile environment.