Here is our day by day experience without running water:
Day 1 (Thurdsay, Feburary 9th, 2012)
Water turned off about 3 pm. Not much of a problem because we have over 1,000 gallons of water on our property in barrels and tanks. First we went to our 72 hour kits and took out the 2 seven gallon plastic jugs to make dinner with. This was going to be a fun experiment for us to see how well we can do in case of emergency.
Not too much problem and we were in the "fun" mood and excited to do this. My DH is a teacher so he called in to be excused from work so he could run the back hoe we bought two years ago and save us tons of money digging up the cement and yard to find the leak.
Putting 5 gallons of water down the toilet every time we used it got old and my shoulders and back felt the weight straining my muscles.
Our son came home for the weekend from college. We told him the situation and he was ok with that for the night. He soon found it "not so fun" and stayed the rest of the weekend with friends at their homes.
We got up early and took spit baths. Yuck! And started breakfast, getting ready for a full day without water so we filled all our jugs again. And again. And again. Who said we can live on 2 gallons a day per person? Boy what a joke! each time we flush the toilet...there goes 5 gallons...
My husband goes outside to start digging up the drive way where the meter is. It took 1/2 day to find the line. BTY we did have a plumber here "helping" ( I am not quite sure what he was doing because it looked to me like my DH was doing all the work).
The floors got dirty from traffic coming and going in and out of the house. I could not mop so I just kept sweeping the floor. Pouring more water down the toilet tank. Lifting heavy jugs. Trying to find something to do to take my mind off of the project that was going on outside.
By evening they found the water line but in the process broke the sewer line. (that stopped me from dumping water down the toilet for a few hours. That made the house start to stink until I could flush it again.)
Because we were trying to save money we put in a wood burning stove. So that meant I had to keep stocking it to keep the house warm. My DH had shoulder surgery a couple of months ago so I have been splitting all the wood this winter. Luck was with us this time. I had already split enough wood for the week so I only had to keep bringing it in the house.
After dark they fixed the sewer line but not the water line. And because it was the weekend and our plumber doesnt work weekends, we would have to wait until Monday to do any more work. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!
Our good friends, 2toads and Boaz offered us their shower so we couldn't resist because we work at the St. George Temple every Saturday, and we needed showers!
We were supposed to have our family dinner on Sunday with all our kids and grand kids but because of no water we called them all up and cancelled. Can you see us having 20 grand kids and their parents here with no water...flushing the toilet every other minute?
We got up ..got ready to work at the temple. I had to wash my hair in a dish pan! Yuck again!!
Not really that bad, just not the norm. By 10 am we were out the door and on our way to spend the day in the service of the Lord and our fellow brothers and sisters. All went well. Arrived home about 10:30pm. (did I mention we work double shifts every Saturday)
OK Sunday was upon us. We are both tired from the 12 hours yesterday at the temple. Sunday's are supposed to be a day of rest...well how much rest can you get when you have to haul water from outside and have to build fires and take spit baths with water you have to heat on the stove and cook breakfast? Not complaining ...just saying....
My DH is High Priest Group Leader so he had PEC at 7 am then at 11 am I joined him for our regular meeting schedule.
After church our kids in Cedar City called us and asked us to come up there for dinner. By the time we got to New Harmony it was snowing hard and cars were already spinning out on the I 15. We made it there without any problems, enjoyed a couple of hours with them then returned home with slush all over the roads. We were glad to be home in our non-water home again.
We found out there was a guy that knows how to pull the water line by hooking onto the old line somehow so we wouldn't have to dig up the rest of our yard. Only problem was he works full time during the day for the city and could only do it in the evenings. He couldn't do it Monday because it was FHE and he said he couldn't do it Tuesday because it was Valentines Day so the earliest he could come would be Wednesday night.
My DH takes the day again off work on Monday to get everything ready for the guy to pull the line. He had to find the other end of the line so more digging was necessary. I still have to do the drills of getting water, fixing fires, meals, etc. I am getting depressed, my body aches from hauling water and I miss my showers. My DH is getting depressed from missing school, being out of our normal routine and having a messy house. I finally broke down and washed dishes in the camping dish pans with water I had to heat. Things are getting very hard to do now. We both have to force ourselves to do anything at all besides mope around feeling sorry for ourselves.
We start feeling this is a permanent situation. So we start off by my DH going back to work. I take all of our dirty laundry to the laundry mat and go searching through our camping gear for our emergency toilet and our camp shower. Sorry to say that Valentines day wasn't that great for us. Depression is a very real thing and even though we are very prepared this was very hard.
We were thinking about how hard it is on us and realize that most people are not as prepared as we are. When the emergency really comes to the community it is going to be crazy. Water will be the first problem, followed by how to cook the food they have, then needing food. By day 3 of an emergency the whole world will be upside down.
We had to go to St. George for some things so we jumped in our truck only to find out the struts or something was out. We turned around to get our car then went to the repair shop and left the truck for the night. That cost us $1,000 to fix all 4 struts. Then on our way to St. George I got pulled over by the highway patrol because my back light was out. (which I had fixed only 2 months ago) and I couldn't find our current registration. What else could go wrong? The officer said if I went and got my registration and fixed my light he would just let me go. Wow! Miracles do still happen.
I waited un-patiently all day for the plumber and the other guy to get here. I kept doing all the other stuff as I had come to know as survival and really not liking it much anymore. My fun had worn out and I was getting sick and tired of the situation we were in. After all we live in a community with utility services, the store just down the street and my husband has a job. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
about 6 pm the job was done. We now have water. Even though we still have great big holes to fill and things to get packed back up for a real emergency, life is going to get better, Right!??
I can see from this experience that if we ever left our homes for more than a vacation for a few days....life is going to be very, very hard.
If you want to have a good on hands experience, go turn the valve to your water off for a week and see just what happens to your mind.