In a Parker, Pennsylvania home rich with history, the Dittman family faced an increasingly challenging daily routine. Their household, passed down through generations, drew water from a natural spring on the property. Over the years, this spring, once a consistent source, had become unpredictable. Its flow diminished, especially during the dry seasons, leaving the family in an unending search for water.
Each day was a balancing act for Amanda Dittman. Planning meals, doing laundry, washing dishes, and even basic tasks like taking a shower required strategic thought. The limited water forced her to prioritize chores based on the water’s availability. The family added numerous water conservation techniques to their routines, but even then, the strain was evident. From two-minute showers where the tap was turned off when lathering up, to innovative approaches like using dehumidifier water for laundry, every drop counted.
To exacerbate their concerns, the spring’s location, near a cow farm across the street, posed a constant risk of contamination.
However, it wasn’t just about the in-home challenges. With the unreliable spring, the Dittmans often found themselves making a 40-minute round trip to the town, relying on the generosity of neighbors and family to haul water back to their holding tank.
“It’s put a burden on us for a while for sure,” Amanda shared, reflecting on the emotional toll, “Anxiety-wise, especially, with being a homemaker.”Samuel Dittman added, “It’s constant checking the water every day just to see if the spring is still running. And if it gets too dry, the spring stops running, so then we go into water conservation mode.”
While the Dittmans knew a well was the ultimate solution to their water woes, the cost was prohibitive, especially in the challenging times post-pandemic. But hope was not lost.
Enter Waterboys’ HometownH2o project.
With the project’s completion, a new chapter began for the Dittman family. They can now relish the luxury of 10-minute showers, do their laundry without calculating every drop, and tend to their garden freely. Their children, Kaya and Colt, can enjoy the simple pleasures of childhood – filling their kiddie pools, playing with water balloons, and indulging in bubble baths. Most importantly, they now have reliable, sustainable access to safe drinking water.
Reflecting on their journey, Samuel Dittman expressed the emotional strain of their past, “That’s been the most difficult part — just denying (the children) simple things people take for granted and don’t think about.”
Amanda Dittman, looking forward to the changes, mentioned, “It’s a huge weight off our shoulders. My neighbor always checks on us in the summer to ask if we need water or to use her laundry. It’s a relief to tell her that we finally have water, and she doesn’t have to worry about us anymore.”
Their story underscores the significance of water security here in the United States and the profound impact that projects like HometownH2o can have on everyday lives. For the Dittmans, it’s more than just access to water; it’s a brighter, more hopeful future.