In the city, we had overhead tanks. When we moved to Antipolo where water supply was abundant (care of the subdivision developer), we didn’t find it necessary to install overhead tanks but we still kept drums filled with water. All the time. Why? In our old house in another part of Antipolo, when power went out (which was often — mere gusts of wind and power was out), water supply got cut off too.
When we moved to this part of town last year, we were told that even during brownouts, water supply was constant. Still, we kept the drums. All three of them. Always full to the brim. Because you never know. And that was how we survived the powerless and waterless weekend.
The neighbors here, all having gotten used to always having water, don’t have drums filled with stored water.
Onyong Ondoy struck and the pumping station was flooded, water supply got cut off. By Sunday, many of the neighbors were getting water from the clubhouse swimming pool. They filled their pails and carried the heavy pails to their houses to flush down their toilets. Bottled drinking water was available but I don’t know what they used for washing dishes and for bathing.
I found it difficult enough to take water from the drums in the laundry area, pour the water in a pail and carry the pail into the bathroom (the rule during the typhoon was that only one bathroom would be used). If I had to get water from the clubhouse and carry the pail all the way to our house, well, I’d probably have cried many times.
Now that Pepeng is coming, and knowing that heavy flooding can render the pumping station inutile once more, I hope the neighbors got themselves enough drums for storing water. We can live without many conveniences in times of calamity. But water? I don’t think so.