Tag Archives: plumbing

Waterless Weekend

14 Jul
This eroded lion head fountain is the only source of water for our while building of 14 condos. He's over 100 years old.

This eroded lion/hippo/whatever-head fountain is the only source of water for our whole building of 14 condos. He’s over 100 years old.

Living in Rome is a dream; we pinch ourselves almost daily. But for two days, it’s been a bit scomodo (inconvenient). We have had no water in the apartment. We had showers Saturday, but since about 12:30 yesterday, nothing. It seems the pump is out. Apparently the city feeds the property (a condominium building, about 110 years old), and the distribution is via an electric pump underground, accessed through a scary stairway.  The portiere (superintendent) is away for the weekend as he gets half of Saturday and all of Sunday off. And there is no one else to call. No management firm we are made aware of. Ric and I tried to reset the circuit breaker on the pump yesterday, to no avail. But thought we were just being stupid Americans not knowing what to do or who to call in an emergency.  Then today our 80-something-year-old neighbor, Signora Vyta (who may actually have lived in this building her entire life from what I understand), asked us to go with her to the pump and see if we could fix it. She was fed up. She’d called the portiere with no result, no answer, and she wanted to try and fix it. So Signora Vyta oversaw a second attempt telling Ric (in Italian) what to do to reset it and told us this happens a lot. Apparently never when we are at home. Just our luck this time!

Ric makes the umpteenth trip to fill a bucket. We have tons of bottled water on hand, too, because that's what we do in Rome.  And there's always wine.

Ric makes the umpteenth trip to fill a bucket. We have tons of bottled water on hand, too, because that’s what we do in Rome. And there’s always wine.

So how do we function with no water? We haul buckets in from the only functioning source on the property, a tiny little old-fashioned, 100-plus-year-old fountain, now controlled with a spigot. We use gravity to flush, and we went to the Embassy today to shower, a 2-hour round trip. I heated water on the stove to wash dishes, just like camping in the 1960s with my parents.

What’s worse, we had to cancel a dinner party planned for tonight! We’ve decided being without water actually sucks more than an Internet outage.  I only hope Emilio, our portiere, knows where to hit the pump with his magic hammer to get it back online tonight. 

Gravity flush. Just keep a bucket close by.

Gravity flush. Just keep a bucket close by.

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