Eastern North Carolina's largest hospital, Pitt County Memorial, used its 80,000-gallon rehabilitation swimming pool to keep toilets flushing and water flowing during the flooding that followed Hurricane Floyd, which crippled the city's water treatment plant in September.
Water was circulated through the hospital's plumbing system via fire department pumper trucks. The system offered a temporary solution for the 731-bed hospital, but it created risks. Bottled water was still used for drinking, while doctors and nurses used alcohol to sterilize their hands. Surgeries were limited to urgent and emergency cases to conserve water, according to the hospital.