Thursday, July 24, 2008

Random Thoughts: Why I'm drinking wine this week

Normally I don't post in the middle of the day, but my computer is busy setting up my next batch of work, so I thought I'd pop in and share some thoughts. I'm having a sleepy day, so these will likely follow an intuitive, right-brained track. Just wanted to give you fair warning.

I'm so over the boil water advisory! This is the fourth time since we moved to Dekalb County in February, 2006 that we've had to do this. Of course, the timing is always great. Why doesn't this ever happen while we're out of town and can miss it?

The first time was in July, 2006, just when we returned from a vacation in Scotland. There's nothing like being jet-lagged as hell and having to boil water for dishes. The second time was December 2006. I was prepping for a New Year's Eve party. We got the gigantic stock pot out to boil water for that one. Then, a few weeks ago, we didn't even hear about the boil water advisory until it was over. Now we've pulled the pots out again because the "backup generators failed" at the water plant when a storm blew through on Tuesday. Did someone forget to maintain them? Put gas in them? Test them? Check on them when the power went out? I hosted my writing group last night, and one of my fellow writers remarked that when it comes to Dekalb County's government, "there just doesn't seem to be anyone home." I agree.

The best part of the current boil water advisory situation is that when Hubby called the water board Tuesday evening after the water had come back on to ask if there would be an advisory, he was told that no, all he had to do was open an outdoor spigot and wait til the air went out and it ran clear. We heard about the advisory on the radio the next morning after it had been water use as usual the previous evening including shower, tooth brushing, dish washing, and all that other stuff they advised us not to do unless we're sure the water is safe. We haven't experienced any ill effects yet, but we're young and healthy. I'm more concerned about our neighbors, including the couple next door with the two little boys and the woman across the street who's about 10 months pregnant (petite woman, big baby, July heat -- doesn't look fun). What if they were told the same thing and the water isn't safe?

Burrell Ellis and Stan Watson, I really hope you're reading. At this point, I'll vote for anyone who says they'll fix this and back it up with a concrete, workable plan. That's right, I'm not up for empty political promises at this point. I hate using waterless hand sanitizer, and I'm pissed.

In the olden days, distilled and fermented spirits were consumed because the water wasn't safe. I plan to follow the ways of my ancestors and drink wine tonight. Fortunately, there is a "pink wine" tasting at JavaMonkey this evening. If this water advisory isn't resolved yet, we can all get together and gripe and pay a few extra dollars to drink bottled water along with our wine.

Okay, this turned into a rant. I feel a little better now.

The Disgruntled Oenophile


Dan said...

I agree, it's beyond silly that DeKalb County doesn't have an adequate backup power supply at its main water plant! I might add that it's also nice to see Vernon Jones' name in large bold type at the top of the news releases about this situation - glad to know he's so adamant about claiming responsibility for this ongoing screw-up! That would make a nice question for his next Senate debate...and I do agree that the current DeKalb CEO candidates (Burrell Ellis and Stan Watson are in the runoff) ought to be asked how they would address this.

Cecilia Dominic said...

Thanks, Dan! I fixed the post so that both names of the CEO candidates are in there. I was blanking on one of them.

I agree that this would make a good question for them and for Vernon Jones. If they can't adequately manage basic county services, how can we trust them to handle larger issues, either on a county-wide or national scale?


Dan said...

As of 3:17 p.m.:

"DeKalb County has lifted the precautionary boil water advisory for all zip codes.

DeKalb County Watershed Management officials conducted several test [sic]. Based on the results,
officials have determined that all water is safe for drinking and normal use. It is not necessary to flush any lines based on the test results."

Which is to say, there wasn't anything wrong with the water to begin with, but they sure did a nice job of building hysteria for 48 hours. Thanks again, Vernon...

Trackboy1 said...

Some comments here:

The county Watershed Mgt. bosses couldn't hold a press conference and take questions? The cost to businesses and other places such as assisted living facilities, senior centers, summer camps, etc. was bigger than we'll be able to measure.

The leadership of this county just can't get their act together.

Cecilia Dominic said...

Thanks, Dan! Hubby messaged me at work when it went off, and it was so nice to be able to wash my hands again! Waterless hand sanitizer just doesn't feel clean to me (not to mention the antibacterial stuff contributing to the rise of superbugs).

Thanks for the link, trackboy1! I think a press conference would be entertaining, but I doubt it will ever happen, especially if the county spokesperson is as incompetent as the commenters suggested.

One area the comments didn't mention was the cost and anxiety to healthcare settings. A lot of them (not just Grady) are already struggling financially, and not knowing about water contamination could open them -- and the county -- to all sorts of lawsuits.