A story of water

Ready for another year.
Earlier, when the plumber was doing his work.

DON’T DRINK the water, we tell tourists, and it’s true almost everywhere.

Most Mexicans get their drinking water from those five-gallon bottles, which are all plastic down here. I’ve never seen a glass one. Trucks drive around neighborhoods delivering and picking up those bottles, which are darn heavy.

It’s the heaviness plus my advancing age that inspired me two years ago to abandon the bottle method and install a filtration system that delivers water through a dedicated faucet on the kitchen sink. It’s the only source of drinking water in the house.

There is another out near the street in my child bride’s pastry kitchen. And there is a third installed in our Downtown Casita. I don’t fight with those ponderous water bottles anywhere anymore, thank the Goddess.

The system includes three filtration cartridges and an ultraviolet light that, or so they tell me, kills bacteria. The cartridges and the light are replaced annually. That happened here today. Last year I did it myself. It’s quite a struggle to get under the sink, so I decided that once was enough. It’s why God made plumbers.

Nondrinking water for bathing, washing dishes, mopping, everything else, comes down from a tank on the roof, delivered by gravity. It gets up there via a pump from the underground tank beneath the garden patio. And the water in that buried tank comes from underground springs in the area, delivered via the municipal pipes.

For that we pay a set monthly fee, the peso equivalent of about $3.25 U.S.

17 thoughts on “A story of water

  1. I like the price. Our water bill runs about $70 a month, but that includes sewer and trash pickup also.


    1. John; It’s a darn good price. We don’t pay for sewer service. It just floats off thataway in a pipe to a ravine somewhere nearby. The trash guys get a tip of whatever you want to offer. I do 20 pesos a shot, which is less than a buck.


  2. Clean water, very important. Before we made the move south, we were here on holiday for six weeks. When I got home, I had a call from the town wanting to know why my water usage was 0 for the month. I let them know that I was away, My water bill was two dollars less, around 45 bucks. Trash collection extra, everything is extra. They hate to see an extra tax dollar get away.

    I give the trash guys a few brews on a hot day. It goes over good.


  3. You would hate to see the water/trash bill out here on the frontier, señor. I won’t break your heart by naming exact numbers. Let’s just say on the edge of the desert it’s not a friendly visit when the bill appears.


    1. Ricardo: On the contrary, I likely would grin from ear to ear on knowing your numbers. I suspect that mine are far, far better, just another reason to hightail it over the Rio Bravo as soon as one’s old legs can manage.


  4. If I were in your spot, I’d do whole-house sterilization. The UV light thingie could just as easily do the pipe between the tinaco and everything else. The filters are for sediment and taste. Is your water hard?

    In CDMX, in addition to being of questionable quality for drinking, the tap water is VERY hard. If I ever manage to have my own place there, a water softener is close to the top of the wish list, behind only a whole-house sterilization of the water.


    Kim G
    Rainy Boston, MA
    Where the tap water is better than most bottled water, but comes at a much higher price than what they charge in arid Los Angeles. Go figure!


      1. By the way, Unilever makes a countertop filter, “Pure-it” that I would have bought had I stayed in CDMX. Hauling all those half-carboys home was a pain in the culo.


        1. Kim, P.S.: Culo, of course, means ass. But it sounds FAR worse to native Spanish-speakers than ass does to us. It’s not a word you should use casually. In Spanish, it is a reallllly bad word. FYI, señor.


          1. Well, I know it’s a lot more specific than the equivalent English word. Sorry if I caused any offense. Fortunately, I think few, if any, native Spanish speakers are reading this blog.


            1. Kim: You caused me no offense. I mention it so that you, and maybe others here, know that it’s a word to avoid in most situations. While the literal translation is indeed “ass,” it’s in a whole different universe in Spanish. A real atomic bomb.


              1. Well, there’s nalgas and then there’s culo, the latter of which is better translated with two words, which for the sake of decorum, I won’t mention here. But I think we’ve reached “nuff said.”


  5. We have exactly the same system you have, including the UV light. We also installed a pressurization tank in the basement, and a “water softener” which is worthless. We put a diverter for gardening water, I don’t know why. Our water comes from rain collected into a huge cisterna, plus twice weekly service from our erratic community well. Late in the dry season we hire water trucks, 10,000 liters for $40 dlls.

    We take our water to be tested periodically and you should too. I costs practically nothing. And we also have a guy who comes around every six months to change the filters and the UV fluorescent tube.

    The only piece missing here is that some wells around San Miguel are beginning to get so drawn down, that the concentration of heavy metals (arsenic, lead etc) is increasing. But I think you have more water and less construction out your way. We bought a PuR countertop filter that claims to remove heavy metals. Hmm. You could put a “reverse osmosis” filter to get rid of the heavy metals but that costs a fortune.

    Lugging water garrafones is a pain. We agree on that one too.

    (PS Blogger.com has been “updated” and it’s lamer than ever, but I’m not going near WordPress.)


    1. Señor Lanier: With our system, we never have to order water tankers any longer or buy the five-gallon jugs. Our municipal supply never goes dry. As for testing, I have a hand-held gizmo I bought at the place in Morelia where I bought the systems in the first place. It keeps me informed well enough. Our system is also available with an additional reverse-osmosis tank, but I did some investigation, and it seems that the reverse-osmosis process actually removes things from the water that you want the water to have, minerals, etc. There is quite a bit of info online that indicates one should not use the reverse-osmosis tanks.

      As for Blogger vs. WordPress, the latter wins hands-down. I’ve used them both.


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