Boil Order

Due to the flooding of the Mississippi, Galesburg's water treatment facility in Oquawka has been threatened, and the city issued a precautionary boil order earlier this week.

That first day, I put off buying extra water, and by the time I went out into the world, every store in town had been cleared out. The following morning, feeling very much as if I were Ma on Little House on the Prairie, I boiled two pots of water for back-up, and went out early to buy bottled water and gallon jugs.

I thought we might use that boiled water to refill the gallon jugs, or to cook with, but we haven't touched it at all.

The boil order is supposed to be lifted this afternoon, which will be good. The situation with laundry and dishes is getting pretty dire around here.

But things are still pretty tame in general, compared to a lot of nearby places*, and really, the boil order hasn't meant all that much to me. It has made me realize, though, just how much water I waste when I brush my teeth and wash my hands, because I've been performing these activities using the gallon jugs. It's ludicrous, how much water I use, how much I take getting it out of the tap for granted. I would say I've learned a lesson or something, but odds are, once that boil order is lifted, I will immediately resort back to my wasteful ways.

*J.C. and I went to Iowa City last Thursday to see Iron & Wine, just as the Iowa and Cedar Rivers were getting bad. By Friday morning, when we were leaving town, there was only one way out of Iowa City, and I-80 was closed. So, we went on a little 200-mile detour through Iowa in order to travel about 50 miles. But...we did get to see firsthand the terrible devastation in Cedar Rapids. Plus, the detour took us within three miles of the Field of Dreams, so we stopped off to see it, only it, too, had been devasted by storms.

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