As you read this it is more than likely you have already used your tap and toilet facilities at least once today.
No doubt everything worked, and you benefited from the infrastructure without giving it a second thought.
That so many residents use these council-provided facilities without thinking about them was reflected in the lack of response to drop-in sessions held last week on the future of our infrastructure, and that troubles me.
None of us as users of, and stakeholders in, these essential networks would dispute that the millions of dollars the council has invested in wastewater, stormwater and freshwater resilience is unnecessary.
Yet, those networks could all be turned off at a moment's notice following a seismic or flooding event, or from the compounding effects of climate change.
Outages could also happen due to poor maintenance and planning – and there have been far too many high-profile pipe-and-supply fail incidents around the country recently to remind us of that.
That is why it is important for our community to fully appreciate what the council is proposing in the 10-year plan to ensure our three waters are safe, secure and fit for future purpose.
I was a Palmerston North assistant engineer and Tauranga's city engineer for 12 years before becoming a private engineering consultant for significant infrastructure projects. I was also president of the Automobile Association with 1.2 million members.
Palmy is my home town, and I returned in time to successfully contest the 2015 byelection.
As well as my current council portfolios – lead spokesperson for Neighbourhoods, Villages and Rural; Whanau Ora Health and Wellbeing; Inner City/CBD and Transportation - I also sit on the Wastewater Project Steering Group.
The council has brought forward its wastewater resource consent review by five years to look at how the city can help improve the health of the Manawatū River.
The result is Nature Calls – a critical 10-year-plan wastewater project and the largest financial and infrastructural investment under council consideration during this period.
That is why it is vital for you to make a submission on which option you prefer for how we will manage our treated wastewater in the future. Tell us what you think by 5pm on Sunday, May 9.
Infrastructure is by its nature out of sight but should never be out of mind.
To ensure our networks are not compromised in future, it is important to provide the council with a directional mandate so Palmy remains a wonderful place to live, work, play and study in.
The council is also consulting on its 10-year plan, with submissions closing on May 14. The plan shows how we want the city to develop and sets out projects and services we'll provide for the next 10 years.
+ Bruno Petrenas is a Palmerston North city councillor.