Saturday, May 16, 2009

Not A Drop To Drink...

1. Our sewage pipes are connected. Hurray! (the landlord did it all himself) I can see them, not necessarily a good thing, but at least I can see they all join up - bright orange pipes snaking round the house & across the courtyard. They're above ground, still to be concreted over. So far they are working, even with no gradient, but it's early days. Today we noticed the next door neighbours digging channels & joining pipes in with our pipes through the wall. What has everyone been doing menawhile with no viable sewage system I ask myself??? Actually I'm trying hard not to think about it.
2. Our courtyard is dry & odour free for the 1st time in 3 mths. Swept & hosed down.
3. Water engineer & construction engineer friends advise we need to flush the system with chlorine. Having a tank system means water is sitting around & the micro-organsims are busy multiplying. My son's science teacher has offered to test our water. Our 'professional' friends in this field seem fascinated by our 'problem' & equally astonished that it could have happened at aall. Still they've also been helpful.
4. Landlord agreed to use chemicals. Yesterday he said he had put some down the well.
5. Bath water last night was a pale blue, rather than brown, (it was often brown even pre-sewage debacle) so am presuming chemical story was true & action was taken. Who knows what my children were bathing in. They preferred the colour though.
6. Have added yet another 'string of (partial) knowledge' to my bow. Been reading up on chlorination (gas, sodium hypochlorite & solid calcium hypochlorite) disinfection options. All seem very corrosive, volatile or dangerous, & require pumps, gas chlorinators & diffusers, precise quantities & chlorine has to meet certain standards. Landlord's solution of chucking chlorine in well probably as good as any. Or at least better than nothing..
7. Have been washing up in weak bleach solution, boiling water & showering with mouth firmly closed. I have discovered some bugs take 20 mins of boiling to cop it.(Didn't realise it would be so useful knowing a water engineer) Most it's only a minute though.
8.Husband thinks I am utterly neurotic and has been doing his teeth in the tap water since Wed (sewage water came through pipes on Tues) Verdict "I'm fine. Any microbes will be a million millionth part of the water in the pipes."
9. Discovered our children also never had their Hep A booster, despite several drs in diff countries checking our vaccination sheets & not telling us we needed another a yr after 1st one. Also we are all out of date for typhoid. Not only are typhoid vaccines not available here but a nurse friend who works at the international clinic here said companies who shipped vaccines to them at the clinic used mini lunch box ice packs & the vaccines arrive with a soggy defrosted ice pack round them. She said you couldn't vouch for their viability under those conditions.
So I'm going to carry on being careful(& neurotic.
10. Also got sink leak fixed (my Albanian teacher's husband) & car indicators mended (yet again) by another local contact. AND landlord fixed gate (been broken a month)

That's a pretty good 'To Do' list achieved this week. In fact, I don't think the landlord has achieved this much in a year and a half of us being here. Perhaps Sabotage & Disaster Creation is the way forward to get our landlord to act. Though I have to admit sewage coming out of the taps was a high price to pay for this discovery.


Wife in Hong Kong said...

Much is on the mend by the sounds of it. A week of huge achievement by anyone's standards. Bit worried about the teeth cleaning in dubious sounding water though.... I guess exposure to micro-whatevers toughen you up in the long run.

Potty Mummy said...

Your last sentence: oh, the power of understatement...

Iota said...

There must surely at some point in your future be a job where "expert in chlorination" is a desirable quality... Just can't quite think what it will be.

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