Since Chattanoogans are accustomed to a virtually unlimited supply of pure, good-tasting water for our homes and industries, provided from the Tennessee River by Tennessee American Water, we tend to take our local water service for granted -- until there is an interruption.
And an unusual water service interruption occurred Wednesday and Thursday for many businesses downtown.
Workers who were drilling to install ducts for fiber-optic lines about 9 feet deep apparently -- and certainly inadvertently -- shook loose some connections in a water main that was 4 to 6 feet deep.
Water flowed -- but not where it was intended -- causing water to dwindle or stop completely in many buildings.
We were reminded of the classic poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) that many of us memorized in school. It was about an "Ancient Mariner," who was stranded on a ship surrounded by a salty sea: "Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink."
Well, though the Ancient Mariner was in big trouble, we fortunately won't die of thirst, because vigorous workers immediately went to work to do what was required to restore the plentiful water we all take for granted.
We thank them sincerely, and we are again reminded of the low cost and convenience of our good local water service.