Column: A stiff drink (no ice)

 Don't drink it 

As I write this #Watergate is reaching the end of the sixth day and the prospect of a fresh, unboiled, clean glass of finest tap water still seems uncertain (though tests are ongoing as I speak)

But if the water contamination crisis here in the North West has had any lasting impact, it is a slight sense of embarrassment that we are quite so reliant on the clean stuff dispensed straight to our kitchens.

While we all need to drink and have access to a clean water source, it has been interesting to monitor the drinking public’s reactions to having what is considered a basic right, denied.

Frankly, whoever manned the United Utilities Twitter account in the first 24 hours after the warning was announced deserves a medal, possibly the Nobel Peace Prize but most definitely an uncontaminated cup of tea and a Curly Wurly.

They managed to retain not only their cool, but also a sense of humour under pressure while being inundated with a mixture of genuine concerns, anxieties and questions and a flow of inquiries from those who clearly missed out when Santa Claus or the Tooth fairy was dolling out the basic human traits of commonsense and calm.

More recent responses include ‘If you won’t be drinking the iron water it will be fine to use tap water that hasn’t been boiled’ and ‘try not to ingest water in a hot tub’.

Then there is a certain comedy club, which asked, ‘Do I still need to boil water for brushing teeth?

It’s really starting to burn my kid’s mouth.’

This tongue in cheek request was answered entirely po- faced with a sensible ‘Hi, boil and cool the water before/drinking/brushing.’

Shot down in flames my friend.

Meanwhile, the supermarkets have been forced to take a measured approach in the face of a severe temptation to hike bottled water prices sky-high.

But obviously aware of a pending PR disaster of epic proportions, they had tomake do with constantly refilling emptying shelves and creating towering stacks of palleted water packs inside the foyers of the stores.

The whole thing is putting me in need of a stiff drink and the United Utilities Twitter lady will have one too.

This first appeared in titles including Lancashire Evening Post. Click HERE