I’ll never call myself “old” because…

Water tanks.

On top of New York buildings higher than six stories there are water tanks, made and maintained by one family company, Rosenbach. How and why they soared (that’s a pun, ha ha) to the top (another pun) of the City’s water system is a nice story you can read on their website at the link above.

Last week, my building management notified us that our annual water tank cleaning day was arriving on December 6, today. Because, just as we need clean, clear water to live, the tanks need annual cleaning to provide us with clean, clear water.

That was so pedantic, wasn’t it?

This year, I saw that the annual notification email said the tank cleaning process would run from 9 am to 5 pm. This was a slight tweak on previous year’s tank cleaning notices which had given the hours of 9 am to 3 pm. Why this change?

When the tanks are cleaned, we have no water. Not a huge problem: we are advised the night before we should fill the bathtub, pots, pitchers, etc., with the water we’ll require during the day. And I did so. As I do each year.

Last year, during tank cleaning day, we all got an email from management telling us the work would be running later than 3 pm. No problem. Or so I thought.

Around 4 pm, I went downstairs on my way to shop. At our front desk, John, our patient and sweet afternoon desk guy was getting loud agita flung at him by a couple of elderly women, the gist of which was “How can you do this to the old ladies in this building? There are old ladies in bad health who have no water, do you realize that? All day, no water? They are suffering, they could pass out and no one would know and–”

I gave a tacit, sympathetic, what-the-hell? good-humored gesture to John, who returned it.

Now today, a few minutes ago, I got this email from management:

The Water Tank Cleaning has been completed. 
Both the HOT & COLD WATER have been restored. We expect to have normal water pressure and full hot water with in 2 hours.  Please refrain contacting the office or the concierges desk with water pressure or temperature issues until after 4:30 pm.

Now we all can see why the cleaning advisory was extended to 5 pm.

The water was fully running by 3:30.

I think I’ll head downstairs and have a moment with John. You know, nostalgia, couple of laughs.

This is why I’ll never have to call myself “old.”


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