What’s Happening with the Water and Electricity?

by Judy King 31. March 2010 23:47

agua A few weeks ago our blog posts explained that it is Mexican custom for all households to be responsible for storing their own water supply and for being sure that the water they drink is pure and safe. Little did we know that folks in Ajijic would have an opportunity to see the results of this custom so quickly.

There are a pair of developing events unfolding tonight (March 31) and tomorrow (April 1) and Friday (April 2).

There’s No Water!

First, Simapa, the local water company, announced via sound truck announcements through the streets of town that they are shutting off the city water supply (in the community of Ajijic) at 6 p.m. March 31, and that the distribution of water would not begin again until sometime Friday.

As I drove past their pumping facility on the highway at Marcos Castellanos about 6:15 tonight, there area was filled with special trucks large enough to pull the mammoth pump from the well. Work had begun, right on time.

DSC00808The Lights Are Going Out

Then via an email passed from hand to hand and computer to computer we learned that the CFE (the nation’s electric company) will be doing intensified work tomorrow and will be throwing most homes in Ajijic into “brown-out” mode at 6 a.m. as they explore the area’s major grid.

Their power outage estimates has them shutting down most of Ajijic around 6 a.m. April 1 and hoping to resume full service by 8 or 8:30 Thursday evening.

Beware of Brownouts

WARNING: Safeguard you valuable appliances and electronics during brown-out conditions. While the low level of electricity can stress some equipment, far more dangerous is the very real chance that when the power is restored, it can hit your lines with a much higher than usual level that can burn and or destroy:

  • refrigerators
  • dishwashers
  • washers
  • dryers
  • computers
  • printer
  • portable telephones
  • cell phones and chargers
  • cameras and chargers
  • satellite descrambler boxes
  • TVs and stereos
  • water pressure systems
  • water purification systems

Keep your equipment safe – UNPLUG IT!

You will want to remember this warning when the summer rainy season with it’s dramatic lightning shows begins. That’s the time of year that we can have power outages. Play it safe. Put a voltage regulator (not a surge protector) on valuable equipment. Unplug expensive appliances and electronics when the power goes out.

a July 2002 019Water Purification  and Water Pressure System Reminders

If you normally depend on a water purification system to supply safe drinking water and are in the brown-out area this week, remember to buy a supply of bottled water for the duration of this outage. When the power is out, your system will not be working to purify the water with reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light. Water that you pull into your pipes during the outage not only will not be purified, it can contaminate the remaining water your homes pipes.

Don’t forget, your aljibe (underground water storage space) can be chock full of water, but you won’t have water coming to your faucets or toilets until the electricity returns so that your system can produce the pressure to push the water from the tank through the pipes…unless you kept the rooftop tinaco and can switch a valve to allow the gravity feed of water. Those tinacos may not be ornamental on our roofs, but they sure are practical!

Want to Understand How Mexican Home Water Systems Work?

Read more in Mexican Water Systems: Answers for Questions you Didn't Know to Ask

and still more in Don't Drink the Water

Judy King is publisher of Mexico Insights—Living at Lake Chapala, a monthly online magazine for people interested in Mexico's Lake Chapala region, in the state of Jalisco.

Judy, a 19-year resident of Ajijic on Lake Chapala's north shore, conducts weekly newcomer's seminars and shares her expertise about Mexico in her ezine at www.mexico-insights.com, and in the "Mexico Lindo" column of the Lake Chapala Review.

Judy also is a speaker for local organizations and visiting tour groups about the Lakeside area about Mexican customs and holidays.


4/1/2010 6:36:22 PM #

Judy, thanks for providing us with the facts.

We didn't hear any sound trucks, but they would be broadcasting in Spanish anyway, so I would have thought "ahhh, the circus must be in town" and not paid enough attention.

You're a godsend!

Eileen Mexico |

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About Judy King

Judy King

Hi There — Welcome to my little corner of the world. I'm Judy King and I live in the centuries-old village of Ajijic on the north shore of Lake Chapala, Mexico's largest natural lake.

I've lived here full time since 1990, and... [ more ]

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