Sunday, December 3, 2023

These companies are going to help you imagine a day without water

Imagine a day without water (or coffee, or beer). How would that change your day?

On Oct. 10, Hampton Roads coffee shops and breweries will be partnering with to ask the unthinkable—can you imagine a day without your morning macchiato or after-hours beer?

That day, more than 20 local businesses will begin handing out special-edition coffee sleeves and coasters, asking customers to envision drinking these beverages “WITH2OUT it.”

According to a news release from, the event is part of the national advocacy and awareness promotion, “Imagine a Day Without Water.”

It addresses the importance of maintaining the water and wastewater systems that bring a steady flow of water to and from homes, businesses, schools, hospitals, emergency outlets and everything in between.

“This is a simple way to make a serious point—that we shouldn’t take water for granted,” said Katie Cullipher, team leader. “No water? No coffee or beer. But a day without water also means no bathing, brushing your teeth, flushing a commode or filling your dog’s water bowl.”

While most Americans cannot imagine a day without water, there are many communities that have lived, or are living, without it because they don’t have access to safe and reliable water systems.

Collecting, storing, treating, and bringing water to and from homes and commercial enterprises is the job of the region’s municipal utilities.

In Hampton Roads, the public water systems are supported by 12 drinking water treatment plants with more than 50 wells and 21 reservoirs storing more than 34 billion gallons of water.

Once all this water is used, more than 1,500 pump stations carry sewage to the 10 wastewater treatment plants across the region, according to the news release.

Those two systems keep the region’s 17 cities and counties humming, from hotels to hospitals, factories to power plants, and carwashes to aquariums.

“While our region’s water and wastewater systems may be out of sight, they should not be out of mind,” Cullipher said. “They work 24/7/365 to bring clean water to us and take sewage away to be treated before it is released safely back into the environment.”

For a list of the participating coffee shops and breweries, visit

In addition to frequenting one of these businesses on Oct. 10, Hampton Roads residents can show their support year-round by adopting the following good-to-do practices:

Use water wisely at home by:

  • Checking for leaky faucets and toilets
  • Turning off the faucet when brushing your teeth
  • Washing only full loads of dishes and laundry
  • Taking shorter showers
  • Flushing only your personal business down the toilet to avoid backups (no wipes, paper towels, cat litter, hygiene products)

Keep local waterways clean by:

  • Picking up after your pet
  • Not over fertilizing your lawn
  • Not feeding ducks, geese or other waterfowl
  • Pumping out your boats at an approved pump put station

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