Just like the cities up in "North Land" our water is provided via pipes from the municipal reservoir. We pay a monthly combined water/ sanitation bill not unlike up north. However there are a few things that are different here. Water is considered a life sustaining element, and therefore the city must provide you water.
A couple of interesting asides then I'll wander back to my story with a happy ending :) Besides having to provide water they also can't cut off your water for non payment. Yep you read right, if you don't pay your water bill you will continue to have water, as long as you don't move. The water account/bill stays with the house not the human. Because of that it's really important when you go to change residencies you check to see if there is an outstanding water bill attatched to the house you want to move to. Because if there is the city can and will refuse to turn the water back on until the outstanding bill is payed for. Never mind that it's not your bill and the bill is older then you are. If you want water you pay the bill. :) Since water is life sustainable the cost for city water/sewage must be a fee a majority of the community can afford to pay. That translates into the rates being very very inexpensive. Our H2O2/ sewage bill runs about $4 US a month. The downside to this cheap water is that the city never has enough money to do anything but the minimal amount of repair or updating. :( Sooooooo that is the number one reason why NO ONE drinks the water. The purification systems can't possibly keep up.
We also have a rather.. okay very inefficient pressurized delivery system. In fact getting water up high enough to turn a first floor shower on isn't always possible. Ahhhh but since this is a country that's motto is there is always a way. The solution is to use a small pump, to pump the water up onto your roof into a huge holding tank called a tinaco
Now the water is above shower head and waa-laa we have a shower. Some houses if you are really lucky have an in ground cistern so that the city water flows into your cistern, then your pump, pumps it to the roof where the tinacos store it. We are one of the lucky ones, so if our cistern and 2 tinacos are full of water, we would have water for close to 2 weeks. Longer with conservation. :) In a hurricane, tropical storm area this is a very good thing!!!!
We know it's time to fill the tinacos when we only get a dribble out of the tap. One of us walks out to the garage and flips the switch to turn the pump on and in 15-20 minutes we have full tinacos. The other morning LW went to turn on our poor, old, over worked pump and she coughed sputtered and died!!! But, but I need a shower....
Never fear LW gives the plumber a call who said he would be here at 4pm and sure enough he was here at 4pm. Takes a look at his patient, diagnosed it as the bearing were fried and need to be replaced and the pump rebuilt. He'd take the old girl home with him and rebuild her after dinner and by the way "I'll spiff her up with a coat of orange paint" he said :) He would be back in the morning to install her.
So okay I can go one day without a shower. Next morning there was Dr. Plumber with our reconstructed water pump. Yes I can be having a shower in no time, right?? Ahhhhh not quite. The old gal was straining at the bit ready to do the job she was created for. But when they turned her on the check valve in the cistern... yep it died. :( This is starting to look like the "all we have to do is replace the seat on the toilet, but before you are done every part has been replaced" kinda jobs. Not to worry the Dr Plumber says I'll go get a new one and come back at 2 today to install it.
Will I have to go another day without a shower?? Heck no 2pm came along with the new check valve. Our hero the plumber installed it and...... IT"S A MIRACLE!!!! Pattie got her shower!!!
Now you might ask "How much did this little service call cost"?? Well 2+ hours of service and rebuilt time. six trips (back and forth 3 times) new bearings, rebuilt pump new check valve. Oh yeah and a new paint job!! The bill came to $400 pesos (that's about $30 USD) Pattie's shower- priceless :)
Life in Paradise is back to normal. Have a most audacious today or tomorrow depending on what part of the world you are in ;)