In the end, I suspect it was much ado about not much, but for two days I was advised not to use the running water in my house. Coincidentally, for two days I was a miserable shadow of my usual sunny self. As it turned out, I doubt that the sewage leak affected my well at all, because I think it flowed in the opposite direction, but the word came down not to use the contaminated water, so I didnít.
They gave me 48 hours, and I took it all and another half day, so I think I was safe when I took my first shower in two days yesterday morning. No matter what, I wasnít going to wait another day anyway. Two days was just about the limit of my tolerance for greasy hair and clammy skin. I would have had to impose on the hospitality of family and friends if I hadnít made up my mind that the warnings were overblown.
When there was no follow-up article in the local paper, I gave up trying to get information and made up my own all-clear signal. The original news story said they had the sewage line repaired and the cleanup done by Wednesday night. I donít know if I believe that, but I still donít think my water ever got any of the nasty stuff that had been released.
It was an unpleasant interlude in a wild, wet January. Itís hard to do much without running water, even if youíre well stocked with bottled water. I never drink the tap water here anyway, but even boiling it, Survivor-style, didnít make washing dishes (or washing my hands, for that matter) easier. You have to have clean water to rinse off the soap, and itís hard to keep the containers clean when your dishes (or hands) are soapy. Iím sure thereís a time-tested work-around for this kind of thing, but after two days I gave up trying to find one.