Water Woes

I’m very happy here, but there are still the occasional annoying issues. Last March we put in a water tank. March is the end of the dry season and we had many days without water. It would come back on at night, but who wants to wait until midnight to wash dishes, shower, and wash clothes? Life with a water tank is wonderful! We have water all the time and better water pressure than we had before as well.

But, they have been putting in sewer lines in our neighborhood. Lately they have also been putting in manholes for a mile or more south of our neighborhood. Word is this is what disrupted the water for four days! We didn’t know anything until day 3 when our neighbor was washing dishes outside. They have a hose faucet close to the ground and when there is no water in the house, there can be enough water in the pipes to get water from a low faucet. Sure enough, our tank was half empty but we have enough to share so we put the garden hose over the fence.

Later on Sunday, day 3, a water truck came through the neighborhood to fill any containers people put out. They told me the disruption was because of the work in the area, they didn’t know when water would be back on,  but we could call 311, the number for the water company.

Monday, day 4, I was sitting on the terrace when I heard water flowing in to the tank. This was really good to hear since by now the tank was getting really low. I opened the tank to check and saw that mud was flowing into the tank! 😡 oh NO! What a mess! I shut off the valve for the water line that goes to the tank and told our neighbor who has a tank, and was now very sorry that he had forgotten to shut off his valve.

I  suppose the silver lining is we now know how to clean a water tank. Lucho came over and helped after we drained most of the water out of the tank. He disconnected everything, he and Joel turned the tank up on end. I ran water in the house to try and clear the mud (there are two lines, one to fill the tank and another to send water from the street directly to the house) and then they used the hose, a broom, and a bit of bleach to clean the tank. But, Lucho forgot which wires went where to reconnect the pump so he had to call another neighbor, the guy who installed the system, who thankfully was home and came over to rewire the pump.

Lucho and Joel reconnecting everything

Unfortunately we also drained the tank on the pump, so Lucho had to help us again when the pump wouldn’t make any pressure. He used the hose to refill it and then all was well. Except…. the water was still cloudy and dirty. We ended up draining the tank twice more until we finally got clean water.

This is one way to get a much better understanding of your water system! 😁 And, I’m definitely thankful to have it. I no longer take water for granted and I’m thankful to have it all the time.

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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7 Responses to Water Woes

  1. simplywendi says:

    it looks as if your neighbors all work together when an issue arises.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Having not made my move yet and being outside looking in Kris, what I see is how blessed you are to have such a wonderful community of neighbors and friends to pull together and help each other through the difficult times. We don’t see that even here in Eugene, Oregon where it is considered one of the most generous cities in the country. I am very sure that during a drought they would never leave their hose out to allow me to wash my dishes. I am happy to say that I have made my reservations to be in David in February for a couple of weeks to look around and get familiar with Panama again, I’m so excited, it feels like coming home again. So close to being ready to make the move. I will start receiving my pension in March, after that there is nothing to keep me here. I hope we get the chance to meet while I am there and I really hope I get to hear your band play. I work for the School of Music and Dance at the University of Oregon and I do love all music. Hang in there wonderful lady the rains are coming.


    • Here that is normal behavior. Complete strangers have thought nothing of helping me more times than I can count. It’s wonderful. I rode my bike from Seattle to northern CA a couple years ago and I never felt so lonely. People wouldn’t even return a greeting and if you need help, forget it. Here though, you never feel alone and it’s so easy to make friends. It changes your life.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    You and the neighbors are lucky. From what I hear from Nena’s brother and her niece, this is a weekly occurrence in Boquete for months now. They tell me the project is going in circles with each new improvement causing a disruption somewhere else on the line. You have no doubt traveled the roads up there. They seem to be moving backwards with progress. I saw a video where Varela stated the roadwork would be done in November? I am standing by with the Missouri state slogan, “Show Me”. :-O


    • Yeah, I’m really glad to be living in David! In Boquete I see Facebook posts about the water off for days, frequent power outages, and if I had to deal with those roads on a daily basis it would be frustrating. It’s hard on cars and devastating to businesses. Residents have left and tourists aren’t coming. There are still big machines digging and roads blocked in multiple places. We shall see, but it would be great if things were better before fiestas patrias and the coming high season.


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