Monday, May 03, 2010

Water? Yeah – We Got Water

That’s more than I can say for the city of Boston and about 30 surrounding towns at the moment. But I’ll get to that shortly.

A bunch of goings on in or around the Trachim residence today. I am officially done with Anatomy and Physiology Part II as I finished the final exam about a half-hour ago. I’m also very pleased to report that I scored a 94% on it. Couple that with the grade I got on the final practical exam I took this past Friday (a 100%), plus everything else I’ve done over the semester, my final course grade was just over 91%. That works out to be an A- or something like that.

Overall, I found A&P II to not be as challenging or difficult as A&P I. Yes, it was still an intellectual workout just the same but the approach is a bit different in the second half. I think it might be because of the clinical applications that are discussed and highlighted during the second semester. The first semester was more focused on memorization (bones and muscles, mostly) and a lot of cellular anatomy and physiology. But that is all critical to have been done for an important reason: the last three classes of A&P I were focused on the nervous system. The entire semester of A&P II focused on all of the other systems. So having gotten all of the cellular work as well as the musculoskeletal system done was pretty important.

Starting June 1 I’m taking Microbiology. Eight weeks, through the 22nd of July. Another step in the process of getting groundwork done. And I expect it to be a hard eight weeks.

As I write this I’m watching the Manchester Water Works install a fire hydrant out in front of my house. The process is actually pretty fascinating; they pulled up a square of the road, about 5’ X 5’ around and dug down approximately 6 feet to where the main resides. That pipe is 36 inches in diameter, and they have to tap it so that they can put in a feeder line to where they’re going to place the hydrant. Then they’ll fill everything in and repair the ground on the property where the hydrant will sit.

That actually brings me to the meat of what I wanted to write about: water. Or, more accurately, lack of it. This past Saturday, a 10-foot in diameter water main (more accurately, an “aqueduct”, although I don’t know why they use that term because it’s located 9 feet underground and aqueducts are outside and usually above ground) located in the town of Weston, Massachusetts – just west of Newton, where I work – broke. It was reported to have dumped 8 million gallons of water per hour into the Charles River before it was capped. Work is currently being done to repair it and has been since Saturday not long after it happened.

Water is being diverted from other systems into the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (the MWRA for short) district so that it can be sent to residents and businesses in the 30 towns that were affected. A boil order was issued not long after the incident happened because the water that is being diverted, while okay for washing or bathing, is reported to not be suitable for drinking.

The governor of Massachusetts declared a state of emergency, and the National Guard was our yesterday in the towns affected distributing drinking water. I wonder if some people that live in any of the towns thought to maybe travel outside of the affected area to get water? Towards Worcester or up here, or even to the North or South Shore? I’m thinking that some of that did happen, but I don’t know.

What I thought was ridiculous was during the later part of the day Saturday when we weren’t out doing calls (and Saturday was an incredibly busy day; we were waiting for the calls for people who were water poisoned but they never materialized) people were asking us about the water situation. Like we really knew anything about it… Fact is, we didn’t know any more than the general public even though we did have access to slightly more information. I guess that most folks probably thought we were experts on all manner of emergencies (including situations we have no involvement in) due to the uniform we wear.

Currently, my understanding is that the repair work is actually going ahead of schedule. I’ve heard that tentatively the plan is to re-open the main at the mid-week point.

Just the same, for the approximately 2 million people around Boston affected by this it’s going to be a long couple of days.


Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Well done on the exam !

The water situation sounds a bit of a nightmare.....

Laura said...

We were all set with our water, having our own reservoir. It can't be fun having to boil. I probably would go to BJ's to purchase some instead. Never heard of water poisoning. What is that?

You are way to busy, Walt. Keep up the good work!

Karen Brook Westhaver said...

YAY!!! And Congratulations on the A&P!! I really hope you get a little breathing room, fun and some rest before diving in to the Micro. I checked out the prerequisites for the PA thing and then the continuing ed requirements once one IS one and no WONDER the PA's I've dealt with seem more knowledgeable and up to date than a lot of docs! Once again, YAY and in my brain I'm doing the happy dance for you about the A&P!!

Ellie said...

Hey Walt, just wanted to say 'hi' and see how you're doing. Well done on the A&P. I missed what you're taking classes for.
Hope things are well!