Living without mains water

Well its a week since the Mythe Works which produces all our drinking water shutdown after being flooded. Severn Trent’s contingency plans involving a few hundred bowsers is a “logistical nightmare” (a direct quote from Severn Trent) with tankers being “too big to fit down the narrow streets” (another direct quote from Severn Trent). In fact it is obvious that their contingency plan just doesn’t work – it might have worked 20-30 years ago but not now.

Over the past few years Severn Trent have made over £1,000,000,000 in profits and have given over £500,000,000 to their share holders. They’ve put our water rates up by more than the rate of inflation every year too claiming that they needed the money to invest in their infrastructure. They were also told 6 years ago to ensure that key infrastructure was protected.

As can be seen they’ve not done that. They have no backup systems, no proper contingency plans, no clue. Maybe the flooding was unforeseen – not that it should have as the Mythe floods up to the edge of the plant every winter, but other catastrophic failure/closure of the plant should have been factored into their business plans. Severn Trent have shut down other waterworks, which could have given them backup resources, to save money (and boost profits).

So there is petition on the Number 10 website asking for the government for force Severn Trent (and other utility companies) to put full backup systems in place. Please sign it and pass the details on.

Anyway, back to the main topic of this post – living without mains water.

Well actually its not that bad, we’ve got several large containers in the garden with rain water which we use to flush the toilet (we only flush when we really have to) and each day on the way back from work I pop in at the Sainsbury’s on Tewkesbury Road and pick up our allocation of bottled water. Any clean water we use for washing goes into a container and that too ends up going into the toilet tank.

Maybe having a canal boat with a 150 gallon water tank makes you more “water aware” because on the boat every pint you take out of the tank from the tap has to be put back in the next time you stop at a water point.

There are 4 bowsers within about 300 yards of the house – I have no idea if any of them are empty (an ongoing problem due to the distribution problems) or not as I haven’t had to use any of them.

Severn Trent are telling us that it could be another week before we get any water back. Tewkesbury will be getting water today or tomorrow but it can’t be drunk as it could be contaminated with flood water.

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