A better way for water

The new compact system.

THE HACIENDA has come into the 21st Century, water-wise.

After 18 years of hauling heavy, five-gallon, plastic jugs here, there, everywhere, we have retired the longstanding Mexican tradition of getting purified water via the big bottles and kitchen dispensers of various sorts.

The old cumbersome system.

Instead, we have the little blue thing you see up top. It has three filters inside. If you’re interested in buying one you can go to Amazon or directly to the company itself.

Not visible in the photo is a little knob where you can easily switch from drinking water to normal water for washing dishes, etc.

We’ve installed the new filter here where we live, in the separate pastry workshop and in the Downtown Casita. The next time we head to Mexico City, we’ll take yet another to install in our condo there.

This change was inspired by my back trouble a month ago, which I detailed here. I could not lift one of the big bottles, and my problem lasted two weeks. Painful as those two weeks were, I’m almost grateful due to its bringing about this new system.

Change comes to the Hacienda slowly, but it comes.

My child bride now informs me that when she was an actual child, her family did not buy bottled water but instead had a filter attached to the kitchen sink. It took her almost 16 years of watching me haul big jugs to tell me that, and she only told me after I switched to the new system. Sometimes you gotta wonder about folks.

Even the one you’re married to.


20 thoughts on “A better way for water

  1. Moving right into the century we’re in. Good for you, señor.

    Always best to wonder about folks, especially the ones you’re married to. This from vast experience.


    1. Ms. Shoes: I’d have to buy a whale of a lot of bottles to offset the cost of these gizmos, true. But as the old saying goes: ni modo.

      As for your being back with the bottles, clearly it’s not you lifting them. Unlike you, I don’t have a staff. That would make a very big difference. I’m not getting any younger, and I don’t like having to coordinate with delivery guys, which is what I used to do for a long time. It’s a big bother, and I don’t like being bothered. In recent years, I’ve just driven down to the nearest general store, bought a couple of jugs and brought them home.

      But now … right out of the tap! We be stylin’.


  2. About thirty years ago, the city of Phoenix switched us from well water to river water. It was so salty that the evaportive cooler salted up in about a month. We bit the bullet and paid for refrigeration. We also went to bottled water, and we never regretted it.

    However, the kids are now gone, and it is just the two of us. The five-gallon jugs were just too heavy for us. We got old. Now they deliver water in 500ml bottles. We keep it in the fridge. It works fine, but there are a lot of empties in the recycle.

    I wonder how that gizmo would handle salt?


    1. Señor Gill: I have no idea how my blue gizmo would handle salt and, I imagine, I never will have to know. Our municipal water comes from an aquifer, and it looks good on delivery. Of course, you never know. What I do know is that I wouldn’t want to drink it due to where it’s been: In my cistern and then in the tank up on the roof.

      In Houston, and New Orleans before that, we just drank water from the tap and never thought anything about it. Same thing decades ago when I was a kid in rural southwest Georgia. You never knew what was in it, and you never got sick or died. Gringos often worry too much.


  3. Good move, Felipe. I too am tired of lugging those big bottles around while in Mexico. As for your new device, do you have to clean or replace those filters every so often? I’m thinking about getting one for our cabin.


    1. Brent: If memory serves you have to change the filter capsule about once a year, depending on usage. I’ll be reading the instructions again. There is also included a fat syringe to blow detritus out, or something like that. I’ll be looking into it, but the whole thing looks great so far. We had tried a different system before this, but the maintenance was too much of a hassle, so I shipped back to Amazon, and they gave me a full refund.


  4. In my humble ministry in Honduras, my landlord kindly supplied a water filter for drinking and cooking after a few years there. It was a godsend. My staff were volunteer moms, and none of us liked lifting the five-gallon containers. At my home, I stayed with the five-gallon system, but I never had an issue with lifting, and I wasn’t home enough to consider anything else.


  5. Interesting. I’m still lugging those growing garrafones. They seem to be growing heavier as I get older. Am going to be moving soon so will check out your type of system when I do. Bone spurs and bad backs … geez, I hate this.


  6. A couple times a week about noon the Santorini Company, a subsidiary of Pepsi, delivers my 5-gallon jugs right into my kitchen. I always keep a supply of 4 extra jugs on hand to avoid running out of drinking water.


  7. We are fortunate that from the get-go we have had excellent tap water. Hearing all the stories about water in Mexico, I invested in an ozone water-purifying system which was in one of the 5,000-gallon tanks. After a couple of years it fritzed out and no one noticed, so I took it out. We test the water ever couple of years just for our own information, and it is as clean as you can get it. Our source comes from a small village up the mountain about 10 km. away via aqueduct. Recently, we rented out an apartment which I needed to stock with a garaffon of water. I pity the people who have to lug that around. There are more permanent under-counter units that may last longer depending on your usage. Now you are going to have to find another source of weightlifting to do instead of lifting those garaffones.


    1. Tancho: Very interesting about your water source. Even more interesting is that it travels 10 kilometers in God-knows-what conditions, and it’s nice and clean at the end of its voyage. Lucky you.


  8. F used to (and probably still) get his water delivered to his 4th floor apartment by a young man who literally would not cross the threshold. (Chap seemed oddly frightened of F, a very non-threatening individual.) And it was a deal. The big 5-gallon garrafones cost him about $2 USD each, including the delivery. If he needed water, he’d simply phone, and the water would arrive in about 15 minutes.

    So we’d have to lug the water across the apartment, but we had one of those little pumps so we’d not have to be lifting and pouring. Worked out very well. Actually, I bought the pump because it was too much of a hassle to pour water out of a garrafón and into a glass, pot, or whatever.

    When I lived in Mexico on my own, I went the bottled water route, which was a nuisance. I’d have to haul 20 liter garrafones from the grocery store a block-and-a-half away. But I’d usually try to do water resupply when Luis was around so we could carry a lot. Had I stayed longer, I’d likely have switched to something like what you have, or one of those countertop jobs. But if I buy a place, I’ll be severely tempted to put in a whole-house purification system. I like the idea of having clean water everywhere.


    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Which, despite being along the banks of the Sacramento river, distributes mineral-laden ground water in the city pipes. Weird!


    1. Kim: The delivery guy who wouldn’t cross F’s threshold may have been frightened of, well, you know, something else.

      But you’re right, hauling those big jugs is a pain in the butt. Day before yesterday I ordered another one to install in my child bride’s pastry workshop, It arrived today! Just two days later. Amazing. Maybe not for the United States, but pretty amazing for down here. Of course, it is a Gringo company.

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