Monday, 26 June 2017

The quality of water

apparently needs to be some expense. Someone has just been paid no less than $Aus12,000 for drinking a glass of it...for advertising purposes.
Now water is important. Future wars are likely to be fought over water supply. Not enough of it will kill all living things. Too much of it can have also have a disastrous effect. Yes, we all know that. So, why advertise water quality here?
Our water supply is actually not that good. It is better than it used to be, much better, but it is still not good. Right at the moment we need more rain if we are going to get through next summer without yet more water restrictions.
I have a strong recollection of the taste of the water when I was a kitten. It was fine in the first place I lived in. That was the small country town in which I was born. 
People had rain water tanks there. As children we drank copious amounts of water from the tank. My mother had tied an enamel mug to the tap and we helped ourselves. There was no running inside saying, "I want a drink." We knew to turn the tap off properly too. Water was, and is, precious stuff. The school I started at had rain water tanks for drinking too. I remember waiting my turn as the teacher made sure everyone had some.
We moved to the city for a few years and it was a different story. My paternal grandfather had put in a rainwater tank...and then a second one. He also put in a rainwater tank in the house we rented from him. He insisted on the Senior Cat's brother putting in another one in the house he was slowly building. That required some sort of architectural logistic I still don't understand but the tank was too important not to have.
The reason for all this was that the water quality was so poor and tasted so vile that the visiting passenger ships refused to take on water here.  Our water was a joke.
I can hardly blame them. As kittens we would head for the school wash troughs, turn the taps on, cup our hands and try to drink the water. The teachers, lucky cats, drowned the taste in tea. I know some children brought cordial to school but the vast majority of us had to try and drink the water. It didn't kill us but it was not pleasant. 
The water quality has improved since then. I still prefer rain water but I can drink tap water without it leaving that horrid aftertaste. The problem now is the actual supply. There are reservoirs up in the hills. There is river water piped in from the other side of the hills. We even have a desalination plant, built at huge expense. It has not yet been fired up to supply water in a summer drought but that time will, presumably, come.
And there are rain water tanks. We have six sets on this property. They vary in size. The water comes off all the available roof space, the house, the carport, the Senior Cat's "workshop", and the two small garden sheds. 
When the Senior Cat was more active we used the water for the garden and for drinking. It never did get plumbed into the house the way we intended or I would use to for even more.
Middle Cat's husband put in a very large tank behind his workshop and carport. Because he had the capacity to do it himself he plumbed in their entire roof area to the tank. Now that there are just two of them in the house most of the time they use no mains water. The water supply people have changed the water meter three times believing it doesn't work. Middle Cat's husband has switched it off. He has explained this. An engineer from the water supply people came and checked and approved what he had done - but the office people clearly don't understand this.
That does not surprise me...after all, it cost them $12,000 just to get someone to drink a single glass of water and tell us about it. 

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