Most people follow a similar routine when they waken up in the morning.
They use the toilet, they wash their hands, brush their teeth, have a shower, they flick on the kettle for a tea or coffee. It’s all fairly standard and something you do without even really thinking about.
However, yesterday morning, I awoke to a text message from NI Water informing me of a water issue in my area and warning it may result in low pressure or loss of supply. The estimated time of restoration was noon.
It quickly turned out that our house wasn’t just experiencing a loss of pressure, not a drop of water came out of any of the taps from the moment we got up.
And so, in the middle of an amber weather warning during which Stormont is issuing advice to the public on how to keep safe and after a hot and sticky night, we had absolutely no water supply at all.
Luckily we aren’t isolating, so the first thing we did was rush to the local supermarket to buy some bottled water so we could offer the kids their morning drinks and refill the dogs’ water bowl.
The shelves weren’t exactly empty but all that remained was flavoured waters and small 500ml bottles. Clearly, we weren’t the only ones with no water in the area.
However, the supply was due to be restored before lunch, so it wasn’t the end of the world — until we turned the tap on after midday and there was still no sign of any water. A look at NI Water’s website and it turned out the water was going to stay off until 9pm, then midnight.
A repeat visit to the supermarket was necessary, by which time the stock of bottled water had been ransacked further and only branded options were available.
So, we endured more than 12 hours in blistering heat without being able to flush the toilet, while relying on the limited amount of bottled water we had to wash our hands, drink, cook and clean. Add to that, we couldn’t even clean the barbecue grill to make the most of the last few hours of the sunshine.
Far from ideal with two young children and three dogs struggling to keep cool in the middle of a heat wave.