When you get a note about your water being turned off because of construction or road work, it is never ideal. It is always great to have a heads up to prep though! I thought it might be helpful to share our tips (from the last time this happened!) for when the water gets shut off, so that you know how to have a smooth day if this happens to you in the future:
#1 – Prep the night before!
The night before your water is shut off, make sure to do all the dishes and any laundry you may need for the next day. Also make sure everyone knows the water is getting shut off. The last thing you want is to realize you have no clean plates to eat off of, or no clean underwear, and no water to clean any of it with!
#2 – Do your morning routine before the water is shut off
We made sure that everyone in the house had used the bathroom, showered, brushed their teeth, and washed their hands etc. before the water got shut off at 9am.
#3 – Fill your water pitchers before the water is shut off
We use a Berkey water filter for our drinking water. So my husband made sure to fill it a couple times before 9am and put aside a couple extra pitchers of drinking water as it filtered out so that we’d have plenty of potable water. He also filled my tea kettle with filtered water so that by the time I was ready to make tea (which usually happens after 9am) there’d be water ready to go there.
#4 – Fill a big bowl of water and leave it by the sink for hand washing
We filled an extra large bowl full of clean water and left it by the sink. We also put a clean mug next to it, so that we could scoop out fresh water to wash our hands with. It also helps to have foaming soap, which you can scrub your hands in without water, unlike regular soap which needs some water to foam up and really clean your hands with.
#5 – Fill the bathtub with water just in case
The reason for this was two-fold. One, we could scoop out the water from the tub and fill the toilet basin with it so that we could flush. Because (surprise!) if you don’t have running water, you can’t flush the toilet. I learned that the hard way one of the first times the water got shut off at my place so just want to make sure everyone knows about it. Two, it helps to have a large supply of extra water, just in case.
Basically, we became like squirrels hiding our water nuts away for the winter.
Perhaps you won’t end up needing the extra bathtub water, in which case I’d recommend using it to water your plants so that it doesn’t get wasted. But you will be glad to have had it there, just in case a water emergency came up and you find yourself needing extra!
Also remember that they don’t always notify you once it’s back on. Last time this happened to us, my son just tried to turn the tap on out of habit and realized fresh water was coming out! Hurray!
Tell me in the comments below, do you have any other tips for what to do when your water is shut off and you have to be at home during that time?