Mexican life

Agua! agua! agua!

taller
Pastry kitchen’s water supply, added last year.

SHORTLY AFTER purchasing the double lot where now stands the Hacienda, I mentioned our future location to an old Gringo of my acquaintance.

But there’s no water out there, he said, referring to the hardscrabble neighborhood on the edge of town.

Knowing there were hundreds of people in the neighborhood, I scratched my head and wondered, so how are so many people living there if there’s no water?

As in so many things, the truth sat in the middle.

back
Big tank out back, badly painted.

We discovered on moving that there was water, it was simply nasty water. The municipal supply here had a brown cast to it. Good for flushing, not bathing, certainly not drinking, but that’s true most everywhere in Mexico.

So, in addition to the customary underground cistern and the roof tank, we installed an additional, large, above-ground tank out back and a smaller one out by the front gate.

tinaco
Tinaco on the roof.

Water was brought to us in tanker trucks. It cost about 20 bucks a month and was only slightly inconvenient. This went on for about eight years until a neighbor mentioned that the municipal water had improved.

He was correct. It was crystal clear spring water.

We had the small tank out front and the underground cistern out back connected to the municipal supply.

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Small tank out front.

No more tanker trucks.

And instead of paying 20 bucks a month, we now pay about three bucks a month for an unlimited supply.

Somewhere along the line we also installed another, larger tank out front about 20 feet from the smaller tank.

cistern
Underground cistern.

I filled that big tank with a hose from the nearby smaller tank, and had a pump attached. We then had a way to water the yard and wash the two cars.

The large above-ground tank out back also was filled with a hose from the small tank out front, a block away. It was a very long hose indeed, a pain in the kazoo to do.

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Big tank out front.

The inspiration for this post came just this week when I finally had a plumber add pipes that fill the large, above-ground tank out front and the large, above-ground tank out back automatically from the municipal supply.

We are fully automated, water-wise. Our water supply rivals the Mediterranean Sea. Survivalists will envy us. We could float a fleet of Somalian pirates.

That old Gringo who said there was no water in our neighborhood might have been half right 14 years ago, but he’s not right now. In fact, he vanished years ago.

And I remain. With agua galore.

* * * *

(Note: The very top photo shows the tinaco above the new pastry workshop that was built last year. It was immediately hooked to the municipal supply.)

6 thoughts on “Agua! agua! agua!

  1. It’s not my intention to drop a turd in your tinaco but those free-standing brick walls surrounding your tinaco in the first image will tumble like a house of cards in a moderate earthquake. The corners (at least) should have had reinforced concrete posts to tie it all together.

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    1. Clete: While what you say may be quite true, I take a Mexican attitude toward it. When and if that happens, I’ll deal with it. That barrier is purely cosmetic, my wife’s idea, because she thought the tinaco was unattractive, which it is. The enclosure is likely smaller than it appears in the photo.

      Plus, we live in a relatively stable area as far as earthquakes go. There hasn’t been even a moderate shake since I moved here 16 years ago, just light ones. I know that does not mean it’s impossible, but if it does happen, I imagine I’ll have more worries than that little enclosure.

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    1. Andrés: Gotta hang in there. You’ve gotten sick way too early. I usually start getting sick of it about mid-August. It won’t start tapering off till October. And then toward the end of May the following year, I’m sick of the dust and dead grass, and I start rain-dancing in the yard.

      But rain or not, I’ve got plenty of water on hand.

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