No Water Again?!?! UGH!

Monday 29 August 2011

Water is just one of those things you take for granted when living in a fully developed country.  You turn on the taps and it’s always there and sometimes, you even grumble when the town puts restrictions on water use and you can’t water your lawn every night.  It’s certainly not the same here.

On the absolute best day, the water pressure is so low that it’s hard to take a shower.  For that reason, the majority of expats have a large reservoir tank (ours is 1000 litres) and a pump.  The tank fills up with the regular town water and then the pump takes over to force more water with more pressure into the house.  The water gets shut off regularly here but sometimes you hardly notice as you use the water from the tank and then it gets turned back on again and the tank fills.  Unfortunately this week, we've noticed it!

The water has been shut off EVERY day for several hours at a time.  The first time, all of our tank water was used as our guard graciously washed our cars (ahhh!!!  I would have preferred flushing toilets than a clean car but whatever.)  After that, it was impossible to catch up.  The water would be turned on again for a couple of hours but the pressure was so low that it couldn’t make it up the pipes to our tank.

It is never pretty when the water is out.  Toilets aren’t flushed ALL day, dishes are stacked up, not even rinsed from the previous nights dinner, you can’t easily wash your hands and showers are almost impossible.  The whole place starts to smell.  Obviously, we always have a stock of drinking water so we don’t suffer there and we use that to wash up when needed but these water outages are never fun.  We’ve been steadily without regular water for close to a week and there’s no telling how much longer this streak will go on.  (Last year was similar at this time – the end of the dry season - and it was at least a couple of weeks without regular water.)

When the water does return, we use it sparingly and wonder when it will stop again until it seems to come back for good.  Life in the third world - always interesting!


  1. Ahhh yes, life in a 3rd world. Our water also is shut off weekly, often daily, but fortunately we have a large reservoir under our deck with a back up supply. After Hurricane Thomas last year people used their pools to supply water for flushing toilets, rinsing dishes etc. With it being hurricane season here, we have learned to fill milk and bleach jugs with tap water just in case and of course have to keep a large supply of bottled water on hand. It's all a learning curve .....

  2. We didn't have a tank at our apartment, but having grown up in Louisiana with hurricanes and related inconveniences, we kept large gatorade-type bottles full under the sink in each bath for flushing when water was out (like what Mindy mentioned above). Most people don't realize that except on the best days, Louisiana is a third world country. Power outages were fairly common in POG, but the worst was when the water heater died and it was over a month before it was repaired. Somehow, I didn't expect the water to be so *cold*!


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