Sandra Geddes didn't think much of the inconsistent flow of water from the pipe in her yard in this small district on Jamaica's east coast a few weeks ago.
However, after enduring a weekend without the commodity, Geddes finally decided to check what was wrong. What she found left her in shock.
Stuck in the pipe cock was a mouse!
“Monday morning I realised that water was out the road but none in the yard, and I heard a little sound but the pipe dry,” she told the Jamaica Observer. “I decided to take off the pipe and then I see this rat tail in the pipe cock. I called the other people in the yard and tell them.”
Health concerns flooded her mind, so Geddes took the evidence with her to the National Water Commission office in Port Antonio to report the find.
“When I told the lady she was laughing and going on like I'm telling lie, so mi daughter step in,” she said.
Her daughter, Peta-Gaye Bell, shared what happened. “I didn't like how the lady answered my mother, like she was telling a lie and she have the evidence right there with her,” Bell related.
“I have a three-month-old baby and other persons have babies and children, and if we have this in our water we want it to be investigated. I think the water has been contaminated and the Ministry of Health needs to look into this,” she said.
Stephanie Lewis, who lives in the yard, agreed. “I think more needs to be done to assure the community that the water is safe to drink. We have children living here and we must be assured that the water source is clean and not a health risk to us. Sandra went and report it and, from what she say them attitude not right.”
Another resident, Joyce Williams, expressed similar concerns. “We want to know that the water is good as I have a young baby and don't want anything to go wrong. The health department must come and check on the water source at Haining that it is safe to use. Water out on the road and none in the yard and it is going to waste there,” she said.
The claim about water going to waste was corroborated by Sherwin Williams. “For the last four weeks there is a bust pipe that has been gushing water and gallons of water, have gone to waste despite reporting the matter to the National Water Commission in Port Antonio and Kingston,” he said. “They say they will send someone to come and check it and correct the problem but up to now nothing has been done. The water system needs to be checked to see if it is contaminated.”
Water is supplied to the area from the Haining system, close to the St Thomas border.