Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Is the water safe to drink in Pearl Lagoon?

Typical water bottle and dispenser

The availability of drinkable water is a common concern when people are visiting or living in Pearl Lagoon. And no wonder since so many people get sick each year from drinking contaminated water.

Although the town has a water purification system there still is concern about the quality of the water that it produces. Therefore, many people - ourselves included - opt to purchase bottled water. The problem is that this water is shipped in from Bluefields and during the hottest months bottled water is in huge demand. There have been a number of times in the past few months when our bottled water has run out and there hasn't been any water to buy in town and a shipment wasn't due for a day or more. Pat has literally picked up the water at the dock when it arrived and on a number of occasions we have been only able to replace two of our empty bottles rather than the three .

How much does a 5 gal bottle of purified water cost? The cheapest that we have found is at the Moravian Church where they sell the water for 45 cordobas. A group from the US are currently installing an extra filtration system to purify the town water so that it will be unnecessary to have the bottles shipped in from Bluefields. It is anticipated that this will reduce the cost of the water. There are a few other locations in town that sell the bottled water and the price varies from 50 - 75 cordobas. It certainly pays to shop around!

What can you do when your bottled water runs out and there isn't any available in town? For us the option is to boil the water and let it cool. We've had no ill effects from doing this at all. Another option is having a backup clay filtration system like you see in the pictures below. We haven't seen these kits available here in Pearl Lagoon but have found a website that advertises them for sale: Filtron Water Purifier

Clay Water filtration system

Instructions for using your Clay Water filtration system