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Saturday 28 February 2015

Water in our taps!!

This water has been brought to us by a gang of workmen at the pier working all hours dealing with arrivals of water on various boats, trailering tanks up to our island water tank to pump it into the system. Other workmen around the island checking that folk have water, making sure bottled water supplies are replenished.  And all of this in typical Orkney conditions with rain, hail, wind and the occasional bit of sunshine and a wave and a smile as they pass you by.

Meanwhile on Hoy others have been working along with divers and vessels to locate the problem with the subsea pipe.  Again in all weathers and sea conditions and late into the night.

This is a major operation, logistics not made easy by needing to lift on lift off everything from the pier, plus weather, and an excess of rainwater turning everything to mud.

The Red Cross volunteers have been sent out again today, so Chris and Colin are going around folk to see that everything is OK.  They have been out here everyday too and as I say they are volunteers giving up their time to help folk out

Anyway today I had  my first hot shower since Sunday and water out of the taps to have a wash. Paradise!  Bottled water still for drinking, cleaning teeth etc, but oh the joy of washing my hands in hot water again.

And of course, probably more importantly the farmers have water coming out of taps in byres to get water to cattle. Some have had to manually take water in to the cattle. Additional work at an already busy time.

Our generation has got so used to hot water "on tap", we are lost without it.  Though when I was a child, brought up in a working-class family, we only had a bath once a week (whether we needed it or not. Ha!).  The rest of the time it was a wash in the morning and at night.  Only "posh people" or middle-class folk had showers.  Even hotels still had baths. And for my father's generation it was a tin bath in front of the fire on a Sunday night. Filled up with hot water from the copper or large kettles on the range.  Many around the world learn to live with water as a scare resource but in the UK (particularly with so much RAIN) we have high expectations of it coming out of our taps whenever we want.

Still lots of ongoing work for Scottish Water.  They need to keep the tank supplied, locate all the faults on the subsea pipe and fix them.  And ensure a regular good supply of drinking water thereafter.

Meanwhile, of course, Button snoozes in the sunshine and happily drinks out of puddles.  She positively turns her nose up at water out of a tap! And neither, of course, does she require a flush toilet or water to wash with.... She keeps telling me she's a low maintenance cat.... I, however, disagree! Pah!


  1. You have different taps for hot and cold water! We have one for both .I hope every thing will be ok soon.

  2. Happy to see your water supply is adequate. I am a bit impressed by the efficiency of Svottish Water, considering the distance and logistics involved! I just found your site. My wife and I are in Catoosa County, Northwest Georgia, and hope to visit Scottland someday soon.

  3. We don't realise just how lucky we are with 'running water' until it no longer flows. Sounds as though the workmen have quite a task on their hands.

  4. I remember those days when you had a bath once a week, whether you needed it or not. I also remember having to use the same bath water that my two younger and dirtier brothers had used..........good to see water coming out of your taps!!

  5. Our bath night was Sunday, I had the first bath being the youngest. A few inches of clean water, by the time it got to dads turn it was deeper and grubbier. Glad you have your water back!

  6. Though I'm not quite of your father's generation, I grew up on the edge of a Lancashire village with no running water until I was in my teens. All water was carried from the well in buckets and we had a tin bath filled with hot water from the Rayburn cistern. So I can still carry two full buckets of water without spilling any and am an expert on getting clean with a good wash at the sink. :-)

    Still I wouldn't want to go back to those days and I'm glad life is getting back to something approaching normal for you.