area of Boston is under a Boil Water Order. A water main pipe burst at 10am on May first leaving 2 million residence without water. Many local drug stores like CVS have already reported selling out of water.
It has not been announced when the Boil Water Order will be lifted but aid in the crisis 2.5 million gallons of water have been ordered that will soon arrive in 63 trailers carrying 55,000 gallons and costing $8000 each-- a total cost of $509,100. This water will be given out to high risk populations like the elderly.
It also has been reported that stores are beginning to raise prices on bottled water. Unstoppable market system or result of corrupt and evil store owners--discuss.
Anyway, Boston has requested aid from the Federal Government. I am excited to see Boston's resilience in action, although I hope it doesn't last too long :)
I now return to exile
-Live from the scene of the event
If stores raise prices like that, and cross a certain limit, people might rebel and use force to get the water.
What's amazing is how quickly the alert went out...so fast that the back up systems weren't online yet (meaning MWRA was providing what was left of their clean water until after people had been notified of the leak and the fact that untreated water would soon be reaching our taps).
Though a rush on bottled water could not be prevented, I think Boston issuing a cap on the number of gallons one person could buy as well as the price stores can charge would have helped both the rush on water and peoples' pocket books a bit more. Still, when all is said and done, I think the city is handling the 'catastrophe' pretty well, though it remains to be seen how long I'll have to boil water for brushing my teeth and drinking.
One question I would like the answer to, though, is how long will the reserve water supplies last? The answer to that question might very well warrant a rush on bottled water as stores start shipping in more, in which case caps on price and purchase should be instituted soon. I doubt it will come to that, but it's possible.
--Also live from the scene in Boston
@Shanna-- I don't think the damage is too difficult to repair, at least from what they are reporting so hopefully clean water will be up and running soon. I too was amazed by the speed of the alert. I saw a News brief, there were signs on the highway, also radio broadcasts as well.
Weather wise we have rain for three days and then heat. I am going to set up rain collection systems (aka a bucket) so that I don't have to boil water :) photos maybe.
its all fun and games though until I'm thirsty. :)
@Samiran Roy-- My roommates and I have bought more orange and apple juice than usual because they're a good alternative, but caffeinated soft drinks actually dehydrate you, and those are what are usually sold in our vending machines. For others, though non-caffeinated beverages are an excellent option (though I'm trying to stay away from them because of my environmentalist aversion to plastic bottles...we'll see how long that one lasts...)
@Turil-- The problem with a filter is that it doesn't kill parasites, it only removes physical particles. Parasites are what the MWRA is worried about, which is why we've been told to boil. I do agree that the irrational behavior is rather ridiculous, especially since the emphasis has been on boiling water, not buying bottled. My roommate and I have discussed it though, and we've decided that it makes sense if you've got little kids, since its easier to instruct them to drink only out of a bottle than it would be to explain not drinking out of a tap or worrying about the heat of the water in a pot on the stove. With kids, bottled is just easier.
And with kids, which we have here (two five year old awesome boys) it's definitely perfectly easy to boil water, which their mom has been doing since yesterday (she's had one of those irrational responses, and doesn't trust the filter). It's not difficult to explain, and gives the family a great opportunity to talk about important science. :-)
Still, it takes all kinds in this world, and I think women are generally (but not always) more overly cautious than men when it comes family health. We're also generally thought to be more irrational, though wintermute is definitely on the ball when he says people in groups act in ways they wouldn't if they were on their own.