I only remember the price of water when I was very young. Unlimited water cost US$2 every month. When we moved to California, things changed considerably, but I have no idea how much. In any case, it was not unlimited.
In the city, home owners here do get a water and sewer bill. I think my parents pay about $45 per month, each home does have a meter and they are charged useage. Being out in the rural area, we are not connected to city services, we have a pump in the lake for our water supply and a septic system.
There was public dismay here about 10 years ago when meters were installed as before that everyone paid a flat rate. You can see the difference it made as now many people no longer water their lawns.
Adding 7m² isn't bad! Right?! My landlady had the hardest time wrapping her head around the fact that the patio was going to be a room. One of its great benefits is that now I have a place to hang my hammock, due to the professionally installed safe hammock hooks. I'm about an inch taller than the room is wide, but once sideways in the hammock my feet swing through the open doorway into the kitchen, so all is well.
It's an impressive and imaginative transformation. I can't even stir up the gumption to get my bathroom swished up a bit. Lovely compliment, Patrick ~ thank you! By "gumption", you must mean that foolish illusion that one can tolerate the mess and the hell of other humans invading your home.
Bixa, Do you pay for the water they send you - if so is water very expensive? Tod, my landlords pay the water bill. They could hardly do otherwise, since there are three water users on this property & only one meter. Anyway, water here is pretty cheap. This is from an article from 2018: In the City of Oaxaca, the bimonthly rate for water consumption in domestic service, on average, is 51 pesos for a consumption between zero and 20 cubic meters. That means @ 1.69 aud / 1.63 cad / 1.09 eur / 1.30 usd a month. Even if the rate has doubled since 2018, we're still looking at only about two euros a month.
Being out in the rural area, we are not connected to city services, we have a pump in the lake for our water supply and a septic system. There was public dismay here about 10 years ago when meters were installed as before that everyone paid a flat rate. You can see the difference it made as now many people no longer water their lawns. It makes sense that meters were installed, as otherwise the lake would eventually be drained. That was the great danger in Austin, Texas before the five-year drought finally broke. Do any people in your area use wells?
It makes sense that meters were installed, as otherwise the lake would eventually be drained. That was the great danger in Austin, Texas before the five-year drought finally broke. Do any people in your area use wells?
I have not heard of many people around our lake using wells where they have lake access. The lake is very large and quite deep (226 feet on the main lake, 7 miles long and 112 feet in our bay, 4 miles long ) I do not think there is a worry of this lake draining added to the fact that we neither have ever had a drought. They decided to meter homes in the city as there was a lot of waste, for conservation sake, but also for the workings of the water treatment plant. The city has a budget for operational costs of the plant and the water bills cover the costs.
Post by cheerypeabrain on Apr 18, 2021 8:02:28 GMT
We undervalue clean water, it's such a precious resource. By undervalue i mean 'appreciate' rather than the price water companies charge. I was devastated when the poliicians privatised the British water board. Eventually everybody here will be on a water metre, maybe that will make us less wasteful. I must stop using the garden hose...I have a full rain barrel...
Some of us benefited considerably when we switched to individual water meters in my building because some people live alone while others are families of 4.
And I am very happy with some of the new buildings in Paris (cineplexes, museums...) which post a notice that the toilets use only rain water. Unfortunately, without doubling the number of pipes, most buildings can't do this.
The majority of houses and apartments here in my city all have their own water meter. Some rented properties include water and lights in the monthly rent.
To give you an idea of costs, we first of all are charged a basic levy of R27-00 ie. $1.89 per month. From there a kilolitre (1,000 litres) costs us R40-00 ($2,79). At the moment we are averaging 42 KL per month and a bill around R1,670-00 ($116.68)
For rainwater storage we have 4 X 5,000 litre tanks and 2 X 4,000 litre tanks of rain water on our property. These are connected to the watering system in the veg patch. We like to only use the rain water so at least two tanks are able to re-fill when it pours down. Collecting rain water is not a straightforward method as you want to avoid all the debris that collects on the roof of the house. To achieve this we have a "First flush" system that filters the rain water as much as possible and the water is never stinky or full of gunk. The water is collected in a tank at the bottom and pumped to all the other tanks which are linked together. It does require constant checking that the last tank is always full.
Three JoJo tanks near the house - a further 2 are nearer my sons house. These tanks are made of a tough UV stabilised outer layer with a food-grade black inner lining to prevent algae growth. The name JoJo is derived from the original manufacturer Johan Joubert.
First flush system made and copied from the internet by Mr.Tod
We pay about 250€ a year for water + sewage treatment to the local provider. But I don't use tap water for the garden -- either I collect rain water in buckets (don't have proper drainpipes to attach a water barrel),or else we use the water that is pumped from underground if we really need to water.
or else we use the water that is pumped from underground if we really need to water.
Bjd, that must be a well then? Is it drinkable or must you filter it further? We do not drink any of the rainwater from the JoJo tanks. I don't think it would kill us but it is still pretty impure. My sister has a pump for underground water but it is brackish - they live in a large golf estate in a village near to the beach. Must be something to do with ocean water? dunno.
Yes, Tod, it's a well but the water is not drinkable. It's a kind of yellowish colour if it stands for a while. Almost all the houses around here have a similar well because the underground water is very close to the surface. No basements though.
Tod, are you using 42 thousand liters a month, or 4,200 liters? How many people are using that water?
I had a very primitive rain collection system in a house where I used to live. The collection pipe was rigged so that it channeled water away from the cistern. Then, after one or two hard rains, it could be swung back into position so that the roof water went into the cistern.
Where I live now I have three 100-liter garbage cans with lids that I bought to hold extra water. One of them gets water directly from the roof and I collect rain water in buckets to fill the other two. This is the water I put in the dogs' bowl in preference to tap water. Even after the dogs drink from the bowl multiple times over a period of two or three days, the water stays clean-looking and never gets green. The tap water, on the other hand, grows moss almost immediately besides leaving hard mineral deposits.
My grandparents had just one rain barrel below a drainpipe for watering the garden. It was almost always sufficient considering the part of the world, but I saw the water level get low sometimes during the summer. If there wasn't enough water, they just used the garden hose to refill the barrel. But this was all back before climate change and now it would almost certainly be necessary to use the hose more often.
Bixa- Yes we are using 42,000 litres. An incredible amount. But you must remember we have five BnB's fully occupied all the time. Then we have ourselves that are doing the linen wash every Monday for the Linen Change. After that there is our morning and evening showers ( on a controlled amount of water) and our garden man who enjoys a long 30 min. soak in the tub after a sweaty day in the garden. I think he enjoys this as he has no bathroom at home and they still wash out of an old iron bath. In England that would be in front of the fire.? We do have plans to modernise his bathroom into a shower room which will use less water in the future.
When we switched to a water meter many years ago we paid far less than the fixed water rate.
The same happened for my parents Mick, so they were pleased.
I think I will try to find a water barrel for sure this summer. I always think to do it but forget. It would be helpful to water the gardens up near the road, we could collect rainwater from the gutters off the garage.
A final chapter on the renovation project. You may recall that the patio windows had ornamental security grates on them. Since the patio was closed in, the grates were no longer needed & were removed.
I measured the large arched grate that had been over the dining room window & saw that it would nicely fit one of the arches on the porch. The front of the house has been the only part with no security. I figured the removed grate from the kitchen window could be cut down to fit the window of the half bath downstairs, which is on the front of the house.
I wanted the porch arch & the bath window covered and a matching security grate with door made to match for the other porch arch. Accordingly, I got a recommendation for an ironworker & called him. It turned out to be the same guy who made the original security grates for this house, a good 25 years ago. He and his crew are fast and professional and I am extremely pleased with the results.
Here is a picture of the grates in their original position. The kitchen grate is partially hidden by the door, but you get the idea. (The grate over the kitchen door was not removed, simply painted white.)
Looks excellent, but I always am upset that so many places need security grates. I guess there's nothing we can really do about that. I first experienced them in Los Angeles when I was a student and have obviously seen them in hundreds of places since then. I still recall how liberating it was during my trip to South Africa (which ended poorly) when for the very first time, I stayed in a motel what was not totally fenced in. It may have been Mossel Bay, but I'm not sure. There were no fences and I could walk down to the shore at night without hindrance. I'm sure that those days are long gone.
I've never had anything against ornamental security grates, since I figure that it's better to be safe than sorry. Since I go away for weeks at a time (or did, pre-pandemic), I like the idea of my house looking difficult to break into. The downstairs front has always been the weak spot, especially since all three windows open inward. And don't get me started on the door -- a boring story of resentment. Suffice to say that the pins could be easily removed from the outside & the door opened that way.
For a long time I felt completely safe in Oaxaca, & still feel safer here than almost any place else. Still, there are break-ins. Also, a few years ago a friend of mine, a lady in her 90s, suffered a horrible attack in her home. This was in an apartment in a large complex with lots of neighbors which is completely surrounded with walls. It seemed impregnable, but a nasty psycho came over a wall and attacked her with scissors. Ever since, I and most of the women I know have been much more aware of security. After it happened, I would lock up my house at night as soon as I put the dogs to bed, whereas before I'd just leave everything open until I went to bed. Now, with everything secured, I can luxuriate in front of an open window on my chaise in the living room with the front door open as well. It's the most wonderful feeling.
Looks fabulous I gotta say. Every time I'm in a place with security grates I'm thankful to live somewhere without them. Oh, and could you straighten the ladder-like trellis between the two gates? It's crooked.
That trellis, which is trash from the landlords backyard, was put up by me seven years ago. My hope is that the latest vines I'm trying in that pot will hide it.
I'm a little disconcerted by all the comments bemoaning the necessity of/my wanting to have security grates. To me they are a form of insurance. The hope is that you never need it, but you can sleep soundly knowing you have it. Anyway, I think they're pretty & sort of complete the house.
Post by cheerypeabrain on May 10, 2021 18:37:50 GMT
It looks beautiful Bixa. In fact I would love to have something similar so that we could have the front door open in the summer to allow a breeze through on hot days. The dog would have a great (!) time sitting inside watching the world go by, barking at EVERYTHING...
Bixa, my comment was based more on knowing how your street entrance looks than anything else. I was thinking you had sufficient protection from intruders at the street point and was surprised you felt the need to have grates over the front entry points of the house, too. However, what you’ve recently put into place looks very symmetrical and appealing. Plus, if it offers you more peace of mind when you’re out of town then it’s really worth the efforts.
Thanks, Htmb. I did understand your comment, since you know the house & it does look quite secure.
The house is actually more secure now than when you were here. Right after a crazy tenant moved out next door, someone came over the wall on that side & stole the gas tanks. The landlords then removed the rather ornamental front low wall topped with metal panels and replaced it with a high, forbidding block wall. Later, they also raised the wall on the property line between that yard on the side of my house and the chihuahua house next door. This was partly to block the noise of the eleven chihuahuas, but also because the overweight owner of the dogs had been known to step over that wall and pick his way across the flimsy metal roof of the storage shed, thence to the flimsy metal overhang on my next-door neighbor's service patio in order to gain access to the spiral staircase & on up and over the neighbor's roof to the roof of my porch in order to retrieve one of the chihuahuas.*
The neighbor on the other side of me has put in unsightly barbed wire, but I don't think it's much of a deterrent. Since when I'm away, my dogs are also away, it's easy to tell when my house is setting empty. Thus, overkill or not, I liked the idea of securing the front.
*When the renovation of the kitchen annex was going on, someone noticed a long, large patch of black on the storage shed roof. On closer inspection it was discovered that the chihuahua owners had been throwing the chihuahua shit over onto that roof.
Last Edit: May 11, 2021 1:05:38 GMT by bixaorellana: must proofread!