Water Woes in Zihua

Woe is us!  Mr Andy woke me up about 3:30 AM to report that we had no water. In my sleepy state, I remembered feeling surprised because since we moved to our six- month rental on October 1, our water pressure has been quite good and we’ve always had tons and tons of water.

Andy has patiently explained how people get water in Zihuatanejo to me many times in a language called “guy speak.”  I nod and shake my head and try to ask intelligent questions, but I still don’t quite get it. Here’s what I can share.  It’s probably not quite accurate, but it’s in a language called “girl speak.”

  • The city water in Zihuatanejo can be off for days and days at a time. This is a common scenario.  Sometimes it comes on for a few hours at a time and then turns off. Other days people have water all day.
  • Most houses have huge cisterns. A cistern is a storage container for water that’s below ground. Our cistern holds approximately 5000-6000 gallons of water.  Our cistern looks like this. Andy being the rocker he is, named her “Twisted cistern.”

I take a good long time to fill up!


  • Most houses have huge tanks on top of their roofs. Andy estimates that our rooftop tank holds 2600 gallons of water.


  • When the city water is not on, water flows from the cistern up to the water tank to meet your water needs.

This morning Andy called our landlords and they immediately came over to investigate.

Indeed, our cistern and our water tank were dry as the Sahara!  The landlord told us that they feared one of our toilets was constantly refilling and using way too much water.  They also indicated they wanted a plumber to check things out.

Said plumber came and found no leaks or filling problems, but did find a problem with the toilets in a newly constructed apartment below our house. He quickly fixed it. The sneaky thing was sucking up our water at an alarming rate!

Then moments later magic happened…

The water truck came!   It stayed for 20 minutes and filled up our cistern. Slowly, but surely, the water started rising to our tank.


The blue tank is filled with nothing but water. There are many, many trucks like this roaming the streets of Zihuatanejo

We are so happy to have such responsive landlords!  We could have been without water for a few days, ( I thought we might have to move in with mom) but they handled everything with great professionalism and grace.

Time for a shower!


5 thoughts on “Water Woes in Zihua

  1. Boy, does this sound familiar! We had the same issue in Playa del Carmen a few times, though it was usually a problem with the city supply in our area. Very frustrating not to be able to shower as hot and humid as it is there! Our longest outage was three days. Eeek!


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