Blog: My Little Farm in Town

Street Construction: A Day without Water

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The chickens have had a hard week. It has been blisteringly hot and dankly humid. (The heat index today was 98°F.) The work on the street in front of our house is intensifying. The back hoe made terrible screeching noises that hurt their little ear holes, so the girls did a lot of squawky complaining. (Fortunately, no one noticed over the commotion on the street and the heat and diesel fumes that made all my neighbors close their windows and turn on the air conditioning!) It was an extremely stormy day today. (There were tornadoes all around us.) The dump truck loads of sand they dropped in the street are drifting downhill like blowing snow.

I haven’t been trapped in my driveway yet, but it is still early days. At some point, we are told that we will have to park our cars on side streets and walk in and out. I can hardly wait.

Yesterday, they turned the water off for most of the day.  It takes a situation like this to really appreciate the simple, basic things we take for granted like clean running water and flush toilets. It was a good thing that I had picked up those 7-gallon blue plastic water containers with spigots last year at an end-of-season moving sale. I filled them in the bathtub and set one on the bathroom counter for washing hands and one on the kitchen counter for washing and rinsing dishes. These more than did the job. I purposely had more water on hand than strictly necessary just in case they ran into problems and didn’t get the water turned on again as predicted.

At another sale, I had found a Whole Foods water container of the size used in water coolers for one dollar. It holds 3 gallons, and I used this for drinking and cooking water. Once again, it was more than enough, combined with the 1-gallon Pur water container in the refrigerator.  

We capture and save water from our dehumidifier and central air conditioner (as well as rain water that comes off the roof). We usually use it to water plants. I save all my plastic clumping kitty litter containers for the purpose of storing this water. It takes an amazing amount of water to fill the tank of even a low-flow water saver toilet. We also learned that you have to turn off the water to all your toilets or they make unearthly moaning/whistling noises and all the water syphons back down the water supply lines in the toilet tank! (We probably should have shut off the water ourselves at the main valve where water enters the house and saved all those gallons we had already paid for!)

It is now almost too effortless to turn the spigot and have clean potable water. I’m keeping one or two containers filled with water  on hand regardless—you never know when they will break a water main or two! Begonia





No, this is not a TARDIS--it's a portapotty. It is actually pretty cleverly positioned because no one has a real clear view of it from their front windows. We had a good laugh when they installed it. I was secretly relieved that it hadn't ended up in front of my house.

Big Equipment


Storm Sewers


Our street is on a big hill, and all the water that runs off of it ends up in the small lake in the valley. Up until now, we have had no storm sewers. The crews are working their way up the street putting in the big cement pipes, manholes, and sewer openings and grates. Notice the guy in the hole guiding the work? These fellows earn their pay.

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