Water Filtration Plant
For a city built on a delta, Liberty suffers from a shortage of
fresh water. The water in the delta is both brackish (because
the delta is tidal) and also heavily laden with silt and organic
matter. Thus a common sight is the water filtration plants
dotted around the city. In the Manufactory, Administrative and
Merchant areas, they have piped water laid on from a number
of larger plants. In the Western Suburbs, they draw water from
boreholes and again, piped water is supplied to every house.
In the Shanties things have to be done differently. Each of the
great steel rafts will have its own small water filtration plant.
Unusually they are a service provided by the Municipality of
Liberty and are serviced by city employees. All citizens have a
‘water card’ which allows them to a fixed amount of water.
Once they have used that, they can buy more by putting
money onto their card by visiting an office in the Administrative
Once you have a card the procedure is simple. Just put your
bucket under the nozzle, insert your card, fill your bucket and
then withdraw your card. Some bosses will have a bully
loitering in the area, just to make sure that nobody tries to get
their water paid for using the card of somebody weaker or
Given the cost of water, to use it for washing is a sign of
conspicuous consumption and will lead to the neighbours
gossiping about you. Most families will have a fine cloth which
they will spread over a suitable receptacle. They will then
slowly pour delta water through the cloth into the receptacle.
This removes most of the silt and organic matter. It is
considered adequate for washing but not drinking. Should you
need to wash anything delicate then it is best to visit a public
bathhouse in the Manufactory.
Traditionally the cloth is rinsed and the material so collected is
used to top up and fertilise the garden containers many
families have. Thus you can see flowers, peppers, cussco or
even yams growing in a tub by the door of the smallest shanty.
Many inhabitants will take a perfunctory dip in the canals
between the rafts if they are particularly dirty. Once they have
had the requisite vaccines, it is common to see the youngsters
of a score of species swimming and playing in the canals.
Normally they can expect a bucket of filtered water poured
over them when they get home.
Just a note to those modelling these interesting facilities, the
towers themselves at just 330ml coke cans. It struck us that
people would prefer to drink their own coke than have us drink
it for them and ship them the empty can.