Octubre 15, 2010
Do You Have Water?
During my childhood and adolescence, in the 60’s and the 70’s in El Salvador, it was normal to receive potable water only a few hours during the morning, mostly between 5:30 and 9 or 10 a.m. I’m talking about a normal middle class home with electricity and telephone and all the installations to run sanitation and potable water.
Water problems were always “normal” in El Salvador so most of the houses had (and still have) huge tanks and deposits to gather many gallons of potable water. Because of this, I was brought up being very careful with its use. No faucets open and running while brushing our teeth or while my father was shaving. No flushing the toilet every time we took a leak. Laundry was done only once or twice a week and we would actually use our clothes a couple of times before putting them to wash.
In the least expected day and without any warning, we would suddenly open the faucets and see no water coming out, listening instead to the air pressure whistling through the pipes. We would then depend entirely on what we had in the tanks.
Sometimes, especially in the summer, we would be without water for a week or two and then the whole household would be in an emergency state. We had to brush our teeth and clean the toothbrush with one 8 oz. glass of water. Dry baths would be taken (rubbing our bodies with a damp cloth) and the toilets... well, I’d rather not talk about the toilets.