Readers weigh in on how they've been coping.
A sense of community
I was on Cape Cod when I saw the TV news so I hurried out to pick up some water at the Mashpee Roche Brothers' market. The water locusts had already arrived before me so the gallon jugs of H2O had vanished. I had to content myself with a lot of smaller bottles.
Arriving in Boston to attend the Opera, I had a quick bite at California Pizza Kitchen in the Transportation Center. They always sell bottles of water so everyone was sitting and eating pretty. I indulged in a glass of sauvignon blanc, while contemplating days of yore when water supplies were unsafe and workmen quenched their thirst with beer and ale. I chuckled, imagining folks all over Boston saluting the water emergency with their favorite adult beverage.
There is a nice sense of community here about the situation and folks in other parts of the United States always think Boston is a foreign country in any event. I guess they're right!
--Victoria Dodd, Boston
It is times like this that make one appreciate the wonderful conveniences we have in modern life, and specifically in this location of the world.
Every time I reach for a faucet, I stop -- and think (about Mexico? Camping? Children without access to clean water?). I remember that I have to load and use the dishwasher (a rarity). Or grab a water bottle for brushing my teeth. I had to remember to hydrate more before running yesterday because the bubblers on the river would be bad news.
These are minor inconveniences. But the best fun of all is observing the character of your fellow citizens. Better still -- oneself!
I should have boiled and bottled water for oral hygiene use, but went the lazy route with bottles. Shameful! It is a minor inconvenience to not be able to drink the water, and to maybe have to use a small measure of bleach in the dishwater.
But cooking from scratch everyday continues to be a hassle. I observe my own optimism and risk taking profile in that I take a lot of chances with the water.
I enjoy seeing who I really am at times like these.
Brian Brandt, North End
Echoes of Stephen King
Heard the news Sat. night at 6:30 p.m. Went to Shaw's at 7:30 p.m. -- all the plain bottled water gone, and shoppers starting to get irritated/panicky. (Made me think of Stephen King's "The Mist," without the mutant pterodactyls.)
Grabbed as many bottles as I could carry of what I thought was regular seltzer water -- only to get it home and realize it's artificially sweetened with aspartame. Thanks, I'll take my chances with the boiled pond water!
-- Heidi LaFleche, Watertown
Dog prefers bottled water
I live in Brookline and there is plenty of bottled water here. I have boiled water and put in fridge. The funny thing is that my dog refuses to drink it so I have to buy her bottled water! Miss Starbucks and DD. Will head over to Cambridge tomorrow for a Starbucks.
-- Audrey Capuano, Brookline
Happy with response
Both the city and the media kept us very well informed regarding the water crisis. The response felt well coordinated.
From what I observed, and I was all about town this weekend, residents of Boston and surrounding communities never felt panicked. As for my household, we already had bottled water on hand and kept boiled water handy for washing dishes and brushing teeth.
Rebecca Summers, Roslindale
'We're doing fine'
I'm concerned for the elderly and those with young infants/children, but as for my wife and I, we're doing fine with the boil-water issue in Waltham.
What I feel is lost on most people is that we're lucky we have water delivered to our faucets, some people in the world don't. While it's an inconvenience at points like washing dishes, in the grand scheme of things we're all very lucky people to have fresh water 360 or so days out of the year.
Andrew Dorris, Waltham
Lesson learned: keep water on hand
Boiled a little, Saturday evening for tooth brushing, etc.
My wife was in Western Mass. for the weekend , so she picked up a flat/case of bottles on her way home Sunday, but had she been local, boiling would have easily sufficed.
Biggest inconvenience (and perhaps inconvenience is too strong a word) was non-availability of coffee in Boston on Saturday morning, otherwise life goes on as usual.
Lesson learned/reinforced: It has been/is advised to keep a modest reserve of water and non-perishable food stocks for emergencies (hurricanes, major storms, etc. … But one doesn’t always get around to it. If a case of bottles had been on hand I wouldn’t have had to boil anything.
--Stephen Crook, Reading
Narcissism or survival?
It's funny how entitled we are. How outraged we are that we have to boil our water and treat it with bleach. Narcissism rears its ugly head in the long line at JP Licks. "There are 3 small bottles left and 3 of us, lets get 'em before someone else does!" Narcissism or survival?
There is a weird sense of survival instinct popping out here and there. Should I horde or share? My surprising first thought is always to hoard, but I always end up sharing. But the threat isn't that serious. Sure, we have to take precautions for a few days, but we know, eventually things will be fixed. ...
I can honestly say that I had to remind myself of my fortune of living in the time and place when I lost perspective at Starbucks this morning. Yeah, Starbucks, another privilege. They couldn’t make my daily double tall soy latte. I knew that, but desperate for my caffeine fix, I looked my barista squarely in the eye, and asked very seriously, "What are my options?" Big ups to all the kids behind coffee counters this morning.
The kids at my Starbucks remained patient and chipper through the annoyance and repetitive questions. Bless you guys. They offered me that new instant coffee product, Via shaken with the milk of your choice and a squirt of flavor syrup. No ice of course. Yuck. Should have made coffee at home. ...
The worst thing that has happened to me in this crisis is overcaffeinated surliness. That's not so bad. I'll use some bottled water and make coffee at home tomorrow, and everything will be fine. This crisis is, in the day to day, only a minor inconvenience. How beautiful is that? In 48 hours, it will all be fine ... right?
-- Anika M. Colvin-Hannibal, Dorchester
I am doing just fine with this water crisis because there is none.
There is a daily inconvenience, however, I find the two minutes it takes to boil water doesn’t take anything from my day. I woke up, did my chores, when to work, went out to dinner, had a lovely Sunday in Boston and didn’t notice anything.
Well, I should say I didn’t notice anything until I went into the store and saw people scrambling for bottled water. ... Was it really easier to drive all over creation (at least that is what the news reported) looking for water than to fill up a pot and boil it on your stove?
It is no disaster, no one died, no on even noticed much change in their day except maybe they had to wait for ice cubes to be made and, of course, Dunkin' Donuts and Starbucks were not selling coffee.
Adjust and move on.
-- Patricia Ann Student, Burlington
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more