Outage of the water supply : Water stops coming out of the taps! What to do about it.
In some parts of the modern world, power cuts (outages of the electricity supply) are quite rare, but water cuts are even rarer, so rare in fact that some people are completely taken by surprise when it happens! Be aware, though; it can happen. What happens is the water pressure can be a bit low, and then it comes to a stop, after which when you turn the taps on, no water comes out. Also, in some places, if the electricity fails, then within a few minutes the water also fails. It can happen if the water supply pressure is provided by an electric pump, rather than by a gravity-fed height of water in a water tower.
It’s a problem, and can be quite scary, because although you can survive without electricity, you can’t survive without water. Water is an essential of human life, and it can be a bit of a shock when it stops coming out of the taps / faucets.
Here’s what to do if there’s a water cut:
1. Don’t panic. The supply will almost certainly come back on again in an hour or two.
2. Think about where you’re going to get fresh drinking water in the meantime, and in the unlikely event that the supply doesn’t resume (in case of disaster, etc). There are many possibilities and options, a few of which I’ll explain next, but first, here are a few precautions:
* Turn off all the taps. If you have turned a tap on and no water has come out, make sure it is turned back off again. This is important because when the supply returns, it will gush water out and be wasteful and possibly destructive. Taps can also suck in air, which isn’t good.
* Turn off the electric immersion heater. This should be done because if the hot water tank runs dry, the heating element will burn out if it’s powered up. Switching it off saves this from happening.
* Don’t flush the toilets. Unless you’ve got a “grey water system”, toilet cisterns contain some fresh drinking water, which is better to drink than to flush away. Yes, it’s true; the header-tanks of toilets (toilet cisterns) contain drinkable water.