Checking out the water tanks

Panamanians love Croc sandals and water systems made from PVC pipe. I will purchase PVC pipe and all kinds of attachment pieces for a project I am building at a rural residence in Juan Gill, Panama, near where I stay in San Miguel.

Somebody's water system...took this photo heading back into San Miguel after hiking to the valley at Tres Brazos.

A suspension bridge built to protect the weight of PVC pipe carrying water across a ravine as it comes down the mountainside.










I love Panama because because the people and the land is beautiful. Panama is a place where mountains meet the sea, Pacific Ocean and Caribbbean Sea, and the lush tropical landscape is drained by thousands of arroyos and rivers. Water is everywhere but it is not always potable because of contamination. In rural areas without access to municipal water systems people have come up with some interesting ways of collecting and storing water.

This blog will showcase water systems I have seen during my time in this enchanting country. Mostly I have been looking at the water tanks they use to store water and figuring out where I can get the most affordable and largest tank for my project.

My final blog will show the steps of progress of my own water project, the rainwater collection system at Miriam’s house. The water tank was delivered Tuesday, we leveled the ground in the backyard, and started installing the foundation for the platform. Funny story about the tank delivery. Miriam and I were in the backyard working so hard we missed the truck when it came to deliver the tank. Nathan, Miriam’s grandson, was playing in the front yard and was supposed to be keeping an eye out but when I came up to the front of the house I saw the truck and tank disappearing down the road towards La Mesa away from the house. I told Miriam what happened and we tried calling the place where I ordered the tank from but we didn’t have their phone number. Miriam’s next move was to call the police and ask them to find the truck and turn it around. Pretty smart, the truck came back to us and the tank is in the  yard ready to be installed. My last blog will tell you all about this project, it will be completed this week.

As promised, some water tank photos.

Water tank at the Taverna del Rio, the local pub in San Miguel. The Pacora River runs next to this establishment but they draw their water from arriba, or uphill on the mountaintops, through a PVC pipe that runs under the suspension bridge across the river and to this tank.

Water tank at the breakfast fonda across the street. Notice how both tanks are lifted off the ground on platforms so that gravity can draw water from the tank and no pump or electricity is needed.

Water tanks for private residences on Isla Grande, a small island in the Caribbean Sea.



I stayed in a hostel in Portabelo, Panama, called Captain Jack’s that had a rainwater collection system. Dario, who keeps the place running when Captain Jack is busy taking people on catamaran cruises from Portabelo through the San Blas Islands to Colombia, told me that the water actually comes from two sources. They collect rainwater and draw water from a stream coming down the mountainside. Here is what their set-up looked like. These are the biggest plastic water cisterns I have seen in Panama.

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