A priori, New Year’s Eve is not the meal where you drink the most tap water. “It is compensated by many other things to consume in moderation”, smiles Emilie who lives in Mont-Cauvaire. In this village of Seine-Maritime, the tap water has become cloudy because of bad weather since the beginning of the week. About fifteen municipalities are affected, in particular in the Cailly area north of Rouen. The water is deemed unfit for consumption until further notice.
Émilie received the whole family for the holidays, but luckily she had made provisions: “There were 11 of us. So we went shopping for New Year’s Eve. We had bought two or three packs of water in addition to the two that were at the town hall.” The municipality had indeed made bottled water available to pick up in the middle of the afternoon.
It is the presence of clay and silt particles that makes tap water undrinkable. However, she has become much less troubled than a few days ago, but for Émilie “until we are told that we can use it, we don’t use it. Whether for food and consumption”.
For cooking, if the water is boiled, this does not normally pose a problem, according to the Regional Health Agency (ARS). But Nicolas, also affected by the restrictions, preferred not to take any risks: “For cooking small sausages or for rice, we cook with bottled mineral water. We are getting a little gentrified but that makes a D system and that does not prevent us from having a Christmas at all.
Like Nicolas, many residents put things into perspective because it’s not the first time it’s happened to them. They have always been warned by the company Véolia which manages the network. They will know Thursday, December 26 if they can reuse tap water. The ARS must communicate the results of the analyzes during the day.
“It does not prevent us from having a Christmas”: the inhabitants of Seine-Maritime adapt to the ban on consuming running water during the holidays