Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is personal view of Spain and Spanish life as seen by a Briton living in a small village in Alicante province.
The other tabs link to similar blogs when I have lived in other places. The TIM magazine is an English language magazine I write articles for.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tealess for hours

A few years ago I used to take photos of houses and write the descriptions for an estate agency here in Spain. Often, if it were a house in the countryside, the sellers would tell me how they had spent loads of money on putting in piped water or connecting the house to the electricity grid. I had to be careful how I told them that all that money was irrecoverable. If they hadn't done it the house would have been worth less – off grid houses or with tanked rather than live water are less popular than the connected ones - but nobody pays extra because a house has electric and water. When you click the switch you expect the current to flow, when you open the tap there should be water. Utilities, like roofs, are things you expect in a house.

There was a little piece on the Town Hall website the other day about improving the water supply to some little hamlet and there was a picture of the pipe. It wasn't a very big pipe maybe 6 or 7cms in diameter. It wasn't very high tech either, just some thickish looking plastic pipe. I suppose that something similar feeds the water to our house. Yesterday though it didn't.

If there is leak on the householder's side of the water meter you call a plumber. If it's on the other side then you call the bloke who drives around in a big white Jeep and works for the Town Hall. He usually comes quickly, digs up the road and patches the leak. It happens from time to time.

I didn't worry too much when the tap was empty. The water pressure has been pathetic for a couple of weeks now and I presumed they were doing some routine maintenance to sort that out. Just to be safe though I sent a text to the Jeep man. I didn't ring because I didn't want to pester a man who might be, almost literally, up to his neck in it

Our Internet and phone connection had gone phut the day before. I suspected a general fault rather than a household problem. I used the WhatsApp group in the village to ask if other people were having problems. The answer was yes, which was both re-assuring and not at the same time. The phone and the internet connection came back. Somebody said a mast had collapsed but I don't know.

I must have been a bit too blasé about the water for Maggie's liking. She wasn't as confident as me. She used the same village WhatsApp group to ask about the water. Yes it was a general problem. A couple of hours later the water came sucking, blowing, popping and gurgling back. It was very cloudy and the pressure was pathetic.

We heat our water with a gas water heater powered by bottled gas. We chose gas because our rural electric supply is a bit on the feeble side. I thought we had the hot water supply secured but, this morning, the water pressure was so feeble that the water heater refused to kick into life. Cold shower or no shower were the options.

Civilization hanging by a thread or the delights of rural life in Spain?

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