Glad you learned something from your experience and that damages were not severe. An ounce of prevention, or readiness as the case may be...
Often I have commented and had discussions with others that have lived in the US and other parts of the "civilized world" that our methods of daily
living leaves us a bit better prepared than our neighbors to the north. After the initial strike of the storm your hardships or shortcomings centered
around your water supply. That is an area where we have an advantage, though it seems unlikely many of you would re-adapt with our type of set-up.
Water generally is pumped to us two or three days a week, pumping stations delivering water to different areas at different times. Our water is then
stored in our aljibe or underground storage tank with a floast valve that cuts-off delivery when filled. Some folks use an older style system with
their water stored in a pila or above-ground pool. Our aljibe is two meters deep by two meters long by one meter wide giving us 8 cubic meters of
water, 8,000 liters of water, or over 2,000 gallons. An electric pump is used to send water up to a tinaco (tank) on our roof which holds 1,100 liters
or about 280 gallons of water and gravity-feeds our water system. This provides adequate pressure for sinks and showers but is a little slow filling
the washing machine, but not by much.
Generally the tinaco needs to be refilled about every ten days or so if we don't experience excessively heavy usage. We have a float system that will
keep the tinaco filled automatically but often bypass the auto-fill and run the pump manually when the pressure weakens as the tinaco runs low.
Topping the tinaco when it is empty requires about 50 minutes of pump time. Using the auto-fill keeps the tank within a certain range so operating it
manually keeps the pump from going off at various intervals and making noise.
Our friends on the ranchos who use pilas generally have part of the pool entering a corner of their baño and use a cubeta (bucket, pail) to splash-on
shower and typically do not have a tank on their toilet but use the cubeta for pouring in the bowl to flush. They have a routine where they never
reach a bare hand into the pila so as not to contaminate the water supply but periodically they must empty the pila to clean then refill it once
again, doing this about every three months or as needed.
Our aljibes have a cover that we can open to dip a pail into if necessary but this has never become a necessity as a typical power outage usually only
lasts a few moments and never experienced a power loss over a couple hours or so, but it could happen. From time to time a toilet tank valve may not
close properly and could run the tinaco dry if not discovered in a reasonable time. A few moments of running the pump would be sufficient to get the
water flowing again but I've never had the misfortune of being caught without water in the tank.
There was a time about five years ago when the pumping station's pump failed and water service was interrupted for almost over two months. Our water
company sent tanker trucks around to top-off peoples' aljibes so there was little hardship created during that time. During that time I had been
living alone so had little water usage and made not effort to conserve it, unlike some of the larger families in our neighborhood that would use more.
As I was leaving the house one day the tanker was filling up the next-door neighbors home and asked if I would like mine topped-off as well. This was
about two months into the pumphouse breakdown and as I opened my aljibe could see that the level was not much over a quarter of the way down so I
estimate it held over six months of water of used at a normal to conservative rate.
Our extended family unit now occupies three houses on the same block with about the same water set-up for each home, one with four baths, one with
three, and the last with two, and now houses a toddler, a teen, two young adults, and three middle-agers - I can still include myself in the latter
category for another six months before reaching 60 and have to declare geezerhood, though that comes with discount bonuses and half-fare travel to
ease over that hump. I expect we could weather through most moderate to severe interruptions of services with little hardship.
I offer this post as an idea to alternative water systems and for a glimpse behind the scenes at life as usual in Mexico. Fare well everyone and best
of luck to us all.
edit on 2-7-2012 by Erongaricuaro because: (no reason given)