Symi’s Water Issue

Explaining the Symi Island’s water problems

Woken early by wind (the mobile phone network company) sending me an SMS message and welcoming me to the network. Vodafone coverage must have gone down in the night, and my UK mobile is on international roaming. Humm what, I haven’t had my morning coffee yet go away.

During the night, ferocious winds, also woken me, which is nothing unusual at this time of year, twice I ventured out in pyjamas to rescue items flying about on the court yard, as I’ve removed my watch, not to be controlled by time, no idea what hour it was.

In the early morning light, the harbour road is flooded, with seawater under the bridge by the town square. My view a little restricted, unable to tell if there were any cars in the puddles, although this is more a problem of heavy prolonged rainfall, and flash floods, wondering if there had been any damages. Yesterday the municipal police were out and about writing parking tickets which is one good reason not to park down there, but anyone with local knowledge and would have moved their vehicles for risk of it ending up submerged.

Hearing the familiar drip where rain comes down the chimney, promptly put the laundry bucket into position, strategically placed to catch the drips. Often there is nothing more than a wet puddle in the bottom of the bucket, it depends really on the strength of the down poor. So many times in the summer months have I explained to visitors this is a small dry island, we do not have water, look out for the water tanker in the harbour, grow to love the ugly thing as the mains supply depends on it and water sometimes has to be rationed. Only when visitors turn on the tap and nothing comes out do they start to understand.

The rain lasted no more than half an hour, but goodness me it came with some might and a gushing torrent, flooding down, waterfall like over the steps outside the front door. Pressure better than even Mums superb power shower, which I believe to be the best in Europe by the way.

Living on a hill has some advantages, I’m unlikely to flood. Sandbags at this dwelling, not necessary, but there are wet towels on the stone floor by the front door. The problem simple, there are few drains.

How many cubic water meters have gone into my cistern? I have no intention of going out to have a look and find out, this house still has the natural water collection from the roof, so mostly I’m self sufficient, an enviable position to be, in when the mains gets turned off on a hot August day, not much fun when the electric pump conks out. Recently I’ve had the luxury of both and since Christmas I even have new shiny working taps in the bathroom. The reason for, working all hour over the holiday.

Unbelievably now the sun has come out. Symi will smell fresh, as the streets have had a much needed clean.

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