Santiago is a very dry place in the summertime. I think we’ve had one day of rain – and it was really more like a mist. There is no shortage of water though, because rain and melting snow from the mountains delivers a continual water supply. Individuals, the city governments, and businesses nearby water lawns, trees, and flowers like they have a never-ending supply.
But, despite the plentiful water resource, there have been at least three water cuts in the city’s water this summer, a couple of them for more than a day at a time. The reason for the cuts?
The mountains from which the water runs are dusty, gritty, sandy. Marathon took Carman and Sudoku to hike with a friend. There was little vegetation, no shade, loose dusty soil…. When they returned, the bottoms of their socks were black from all the dirt that had gotten in their shoes. In short, it was miserable. Nothing like a hike in the Appalachians, that’s for sure.
So, it’s from these dusty mountains that our water comes. It’s hard water, with a high mineral content. The cooler mountains get rain more often in the summer, which can cause flooding in the mountains which can cause some serious clogs in the water pipes. To prevent the debris from entering the system, they just close the intakes. Once the flooding has subsided and the water is flowing more clearly again, the water is turned back on.
So, three different times this summer, the city’s water has been cut off. But we never skipped a beat! Our apartment complex has a huge holding tank (underground, I think) that continues to supply its residents. We were advised to conserve water, which we did, but we were delighted that we never had a drop in water pressure. Long time residents here shrugged off the water cuts and said they’ve been through many without even realizing there was an issue at all. Makes our gastos communes worthwhile. That will be another post.