Wednesday 16 June 2021

Every Time I Flush I Think of Them

I have a friend who gets quite upset that on our water bill we pay a certain amount of money for the water we use and the same amount of money again for sending the waste water into the sewage system. His feeling is that might be the case during the winter months, but during the spring, summer and fall a lot of that water going to water the lawn and garden, wash the cars and by the grand kids playing under the sprinklers. He has a point.


When he has called the city they just tell him that is the way it is and it is all very scientific. I tell him that even if he managed to get the city to agree with him, they would just up the charge for the water coming in by the same amount they deduct from his sewage bill. You can bet that during the winter the rate for water would stay at the same rate as the summer so in the end we would end up paying more for the same service. Shut up buddy!


I have no complaints about the city charging for water and I would gladly pay double for it. Our water in Calgary is good tasting and we have never had a shortage other than the odd hot, dry summer when they tell us not to water the lawns. My lawn always look like it is dying of thirst anyways, so no problem. There was that one time about twenty five years ago that the main water pipe in our area had to be repaired and the water was shut off. There was a water truck parked one house away and we could get as much water as we could carry. My oldest daughter took the broken pipe as a personal attack, keeping her from her 40 minute shower every morning while everyone else in the house had to wait. I was at work when she got up so missed the drama. She went to her friends every morning for the few days that the water was off. If I had known she would willingly get up early on her own, I would have turned the water off years earlier.


There are indigenous communities that have had to boil their water for twenty years. I don’t like having to wait two minutes for the kettle to boil my water for tea. In this country, in the twenty first century, no one should not have access to plentiful clean water. I think the native people took the Canadian government to curt and are finally getting access to good water. About time! What a crime. I don’t think I would wait twenty years for the government to get off their fat asses, I would get some smart members of the community and we would attempt to solve our water problem. That may not be easy, but it is far better than waiting for any government.


A number of years ago now I saw a man of colour riding a bicycle while balancing a two litre plastic bottle of pop on his head. I assume that he wasn’t born in this county and learned the balancing trick in his home country where water had to be carried a distance. I don’t like carrying a bottle of water when I go for a long walk. You can bet that young man appreciates how wonderful it is to turn on a tap in your own home to get water. He could have been trying out for Cirque Du Soleil, but I prefer my story.


Years ago (before kids), Louise and I stayed in a small town in Saskatchewan at one of her relatives and the water was horrible! It smelled and tasted of sulfur. The food they cooked had a taste of sulfur, the coffee tasted of sulfur and when you had a shower you had that clean as sulfur smell. I don’t know how long they went like that, but we couldn’t leave fast enough.


I will never take my first world access to water lightly. I give thanks to the Calgary Water & Sewer Department on a daily basis. Every time I flush the toilet I think of those hard working city employees.

1 comment:

  1. I remember visiting relatives in the sixties in Wadena Sask. and yes the water had a sulfur smell and taste...JUST GROSS!