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YucaLandia


Feb 12, 2012, 6:05 PM

Post #26 of 43 (3403 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Cities with potable water?

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Ooops, in pointing out the problems found in up to 90% of Mexican fruit and veg, I forgot to describe the alternative solutions that actually work:
~ Vigorously scrub the exterior of fruits and veg with a good brush (when possible) to remove dirt, debris, and oils.
~ Soak the fruit or veg in either dilute bleach or peroxide solutions.
~ Rinse with clean water.
~ Air dry thoroughly.

Check out http://www.yucatanliving.com/...g-in-the-tropics.htm "Healthy Eating in the Tropics" for details.
Dr. Steven Fry
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


joaquinx


Feb 12, 2012, 7:15 PM

Post #27 of 43 (3395 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Cities with potable water?

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But weren't those test performed on vegetables fertilized with wastewater?

Are you stating that you will get ill from eating any vegetables?

Lastly, do you eat vegetables and fruits? If so, how do you treat them or do you eat them untreated?
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


YucaLandia


Feb 13, 2012, 8:56 AM

Post #28 of 43 (3346 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] Cities with potable water?

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You are exactly right about the issue of human waste being used to fertilize Mexican crops. Mexican vegetable and fruits (like strawberries) are generally fertilized with human night soil, or pig manure, etc. The kind of feces doesn't matter so much as the likelihood of contaminating yourself with pathogenic fecal microbes, including worm eggs, amoeba, protozaoans, and/or various cryptosporids.

Past studies have found that up to 90% of Mexican produce is sold with significant microbial contamination.

Clean your fruit and veg as I described above. Use Microdyne if you must, but realize that it can leave behind 50% - 80% of some microbes. Dilute bleach or peroxide (Agua Oxigenada) works, so, this is what we do.

As the first Western scientist invited into the Newly Independent States after the breakup of the Soviet Union to evaluate food, water, and air quality and the testing labs, I got horrible food poisoning 4 times while working there, and even with pro-biotic overseedings of beneficial gut bacteria and fungi, my gut has remained somewhat sensitive to pathogenic microbes.

Studies have found that the cells of our intestinal lining profligately swap segments of DNA with gut microbes - which permanently inserts bits of the microbes DNA codes/genes into our gut cells - which can create permanent(?) openings in our intestinal lining that the microbes use for future intrusions. Said another way: It is as if you passed out keys to the lock on your front door to random strangers - and those strangers can then use the keys later for easy entrance around part of your immune defenses.

This is why I personally tend to avoid salads and eat fruits and veg that can be peeled (citrus, bananas, mangoes, carrots, etc), or eat things that are cooked to 145 F for 3 minutes and served hot, or eat things that come out of hot oil and are each/all transferred cleanly. I have experienced enough GI problems due to past exposures - and I don't like passing out front door keys any more.

When only minor changes in habits, why not change? Since it only takes one exposure to a particularly nasty microbe, why risk it?
Dr. Steven Fry
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


Anonimo

Feb 13, 2012, 9:17 AM

Post #29 of 43 (3336 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Cities with potable water?

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Steven; what's the recommended dilution for agua oxigenada to purify raw vegetables? The thought of bleach residues in salad are unappealing.

Gracias

Saludos,
Anonimo


Papirex


Feb 13, 2012, 9:50 AM

Post #30 of 43 (3327 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Cities with potable water?

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I don't doubt your statistics Concerning water borne decreases at all Steve, but the sad fact is that Microdyne and similar products are the most available remedies to condition the always untreated domestic water in México.


My suegra continues to live with me, she lived with me and my late wife for several years, even though she owns her own apartment outright in México City. She lost her husband, her own mother, and two of her three children in recent years, it is lonely for her in her own house there now. Plus it is colder there in the winter, and her colonia has gone to hell since the Government built two office buildings with zero parking a block or two away. She loves it here in Cuernavaca too. She speaks some English too, that is good for me.


There is no romance between us, but we are very fond of one another. I love her like a sister now.


I don't cook much, so she does all of the cooking here. She has been cooking and preparing meals for several decades here, No one has ever become ill from the food she prepares. Just lucky? Maybe. She never buys leafy vegetables from a neighborhood verdedura though.


She doesn't just rinse leafy vegetables like lettuce in Microdyne, she soaks them. I have never timed it, but I will guess it is for an hour or more. I pay for all of the food, and her other expenses here, even though she has a Mexican pension, and a US Social Security benefit. I take her out for dinner, or breakfast 3 or 4 times a week too. My own net income has increased by about 35% since my wife's death because I had to take those reduction to assure survivors benefits for her from my 3 union pensions since she was 23 years younger than I am.


We are careful to only patronize nice restaurants, and we never eat street food. There are many unlicensed and illegal restaurants in peoples homes here, they don't interest me.


I had bottled garafons of “purified” water from two different water suppliers turn green with an algae bloom in them. Both suppliers told me the same “story”, it was because the bottles were stored in the sunlight. When I told them that if the water was thoroughly sanitized, the would be no living organism in them to bloom. I think that some of their employees were just goofing off and simply filling the bottles without sanitizing the water, maybe the owners just wanted to save the cost of the electricity, who knows?


For the past few years, I have treated every garafon of water with a capful of Microdyne from a 500 ML bottle. Those large bottles of Microdyne are not very expensive, and last for about 8 months. I even give my dogs the treated water, They are dangerous, but healthy. If you are not watchful, my two dogs will love you to death.


About all we can do here is to be careful of the food we buy and eat. The Government here doesn't know,or care, and does nothing to protect you. You are on your own in México.


Rex
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo


mazbook1


Feb 13, 2012, 2:17 PM

Post #31 of 43 (3299 views)

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Re: [fug] Cities with potable water?

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Well, Mazatlán has potable water in the whole urban area, and I have drunk nothing but tap water for the last 9-10 yrs. The water is quite hard with lots of iron and manganese in it, so I, along with everyone but the very poorest, have a simple filter between the street and my house (just because it looks so bad unfiltered).

I have been preparing meals here for 14 years, and never once cleaned or scrubbed any food to be eaten unpeeled and uncooked in anything except the tap water. ALL commercial ice in Mazatlán is made from purified water (how purified I have no idea), but I've been drinking iced drinks here for 14 years.

The ONLY time I have ever had an intestinal upset (and it was a doozy!) in the 14 years I have lived here was after eating an evening meal at a small restaurant on the plaza in Uman, Yucatán (just north of Mérida) in July 2010.


fug

Feb 13, 2012, 3:02 PM

Post #32 of 43 (3289 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] Cities with potable water?

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Good info. Thanks. I, too, drink water from the tap, but live in a Fracc in West Ajijic, that has its own well and purification system and water is checked for potability quarterly in GDL fug


YucaLandia


Feb 13, 2012, 5:22 PM

Post #33 of 43 (3262 views)

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Re: [Papirex] Cities with potable water?

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Hey Rex,
Great stories. I especially like how you have such a good relationship with your suegra. You and I both got lucky in marrying into good families, where through no fault of our own, we wound up with good spouses and good suegras.

I have trouble communicating, and I did not do well enough when describing alternatives to Microdyne, since Microdyne only kills some microbes even when used as a soak. Bleach is very available, and dilutions of simple bleach works very well for disinfecting things, killing even hepatitis and typhoid. Ordinary bleach is available at pretty much all of our grocery stores and mid-sized tiendas - just don't use scented bleach, don't use the gloppy no-spill bleach - only use simple ordinary laundry bleach, like Chloralex. For vegetables, dilute 10 drops of bleach per liter of water and soak for 5 minutes.

The CDC, NIH, and EPA recommend bleach for disinfecting water - and they actually advise against trusting colloidal silver. The CDC, NIH, and USDA recommend dilute bleach for disinfecting fruits and veg at home - and they do not advise using colloidal silver like Microdyne. The WHO recommends using bleach to disinfect contaminated water and contaminated foods - not colloidal silver.

I have searched the online literature for 5 years, and only found one semi-credible reference for a peroxide procedure proven to kill a variety of common known pathogens on Mexican vegetables and fruits. **

In 1996, Science News Online reports that Dianne Peters of University of Nebraska found that spraying vegetables with 3% hydrogen peroxide (the typical concentation sold at grocery stores and pharmacies), followed by soaking the vegetables in a 50:50 dilution of vinegar and water killed Salmonella, Shigella, and E. coli O157:H7. Science News quoted her saying:



"If the acetic acid got rid of 100 organisms, the hydrogen peroxide would get rid of 10,000, and the two together would get rid of 100,000."

"What I really liked about this treatment," she adds, "is that every [microbe] that drips off is killed." So you're not just transferring disease-causing contamination from your food to the sink, drain, or cutting board. Speaking of which, she notes that the paired sprays work well in sanitizing counters and other food preparation surfaces -- including wood cutting boards." http://www.sciencenews.org/...rch/9_28_96/food.htm



It is worth noting that this small 1996 study has not been confirmed, nor could I find any other publications that followed-up on this proposed system - which means... ??? Her work did show that using peroxide alone was not as effective as her multi-step peroxide then vinegar approach. As a chemist, I would note that household peroxide solutions degrade in sunlight, and they need to be stored in brown - dark - bottles to maintain their potency.

So, if you don't like the idea of bacteria, cryptosporids, amoeba, or protozoans being left by colloidal silver after soaking your berries, lettuce, cauliflower, sprouts, cilantro, spinach, (and other produce that cannot be washed easily), then switch to the proven alternative: dilute bleach, or the less-well-documented peroxide then vinegar system.
Dr. Steven Fry

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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


YucaLandia


Feb 13, 2012, 5:24 PM

Post #34 of 43 (3259 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Cities with potable water?

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**Since I no longer have access to a University library (living in Mexico), here is a list of recent literature references for using peroxide on produce:

Many studies have demonstrated the efficacies of dilute H2O2 and
peroxyacetic acid in sanitizing fresh produce including mushrooms (Sapers, Kamp,
Pilizota, & Miller, 2001), apples (Sapers, Miller, Jantschke, & Mattrazzo, 2000),
melons (Ukuku, Sapers, & Pilizota, 2001), tomatoes (Sapers & Jones, 2006;
Venkitanarayanan, Lin, Bailey, & Doyle, 2002) and leafy greens (Lin, Moon, Doyle,
& McWatters, 2002; McWatters, Doyle, Lin, Chinnan, & Walker, 2002a; Wei,
Hammes, & Wolf, 2005).

One of the main advantages of using H2O2 as a disinfecting
agent is that it produces no residue as it is decomposed into water and oxygen by the
enzyme catalase which is naturally found in plants (Ölmez & Kretzschmar, 2009).
Although some studies also showed that treatment of H2O2 could cause browning and
adverse impacts on some types of fresh produce (Sapers et al., 2001), other reports
indicated that H2O2 treatment improved sensory quality and shelf life of some fresh
produce (Lin et al., 2002; McWatters, Doyle, Lin, Chinnan, & Walker, 2002b; G. M.
Sapers, Miller, Pilizota, & Mattrazzo, 2001). " http://dspace.udel.edu:8080/...hesis.pdf?sequence=1

A Journal of Food Science article http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/...22/1/IND43889574.pdf found that it took 5% (strong undiluted) peroxide AND 60ºC heating to kill Escherichia coli NRRL B-766 or a Salmonella cocktail...

Based on this study of peroxide not working on an easy to clean smooth skinned vegetable (tomatoes), Hydrogen Peroxide by itself does not have a good proven record of killing common microbial pathogens , and both peroxide and Microdyne (colloidal silver) have actually been shown to NOT work.

Does the inconvenience of double treatment systems that often don't work, or heating the fruits and veg to 140ºF seem worthwhile? ... especially since 140ºF temperature ironically kills microbes with just water and 3 minutes of heating?
steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Feb 13, 2012, 5:39 PM)


GringoCArlos

Feb 13, 2012, 9:10 PM

Post #35 of 43 (3231 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Cities with potable water?

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Commercial vegetable farmers in my area (bajio) aren't using human schitt for fertilizer. Most here use commercial granular fertilizers. If hog manure is used, it is generally tilled in before planting so the nitrogen content isn't lost, and soil bacteria breaks it down into plant nutrients so it can be utilized by the plant.

If human or animal waste, or really contaminated irrigation water is used improperly, it's by the small farmers who have little education, no money to buy fertilizer and strong constitutions who sell only to the smallest local markets.

Hydroponic production in MX is booming, and one can find all kinds of hydro produce in the supermarkets. Hydro farmers aren't going to risk their big investments with risky production practices.

If someone wants to be safe with their health in Mexico, my question is: do you have your Hepatitis vaccinations up to date, take a round of anti-parasitic pills each year, and regularly eat yogurt?

I'll take my chances in simply rinsing off what I eat under the tap, peeling or boiling some things, and leave it at that. By dumping into your body all of the chemicals suggested to "sterilize" your food, you are also destroying the very things in your gut that can protect you, or cause other problems related to those chemicals.


Anonimo

Feb 14, 2012, 5:59 AM

Post #36 of 43 (3209 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Cities with potable water?

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Steven (Yucalandia), I don't doubt that this is good information and highly effective in killing of bacteria on raw produce.

But here's the thing: when we return home after a mercado shopping trip, we are usually tired. I believe that it's best to disinfect all the incoming produce before putting it away in the refri. Under normal circumstances, this can be a 30 minute plus task. Adding peroxide sprays, then vinegar-water soaks seems even longer a task. I suppose we can try the bleach method, which require just one application. The trick is to measure out only the required droplets of bleach, because an overdose, IMO and experience, can make you feel sick, apart from the bacteria. I dislike the smell of bleach and would prefer to avoid it.

P.S.: We don't have any domestic employees to do these things for us.

P.P.S: we make a point of frequently washing our hands with soap and water, and I am a raving fanatic about kitchen hygiene, yet I occasionally discover oversights in this endeavor.

Saludos,
Anonimo


YucaLandia


Feb 14, 2012, 7:46 AM

Post #37 of 43 (3188 views)

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Re: [GringoCArlos] Cities with potable water?

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Hi Carlos,
My hope is that given the facts, people can make rational decisions about their health based on reality versus guesses and internet "health-scare" hyperbole. I think you are guessing-at and overestimating the tiny amount of bleach that 10 drops of 5% bleach in a liter water gives on your food. Your lurid description of

"By dumping into your body all of the chemicals suggested to "sterilize" your food, you are also destroying the very things in your gut ...

is akin to believing that there really are big scary monsters under the bed.

Let's get out a flash-light and examine the monsters:
The amount of bleach residue in a serving of veg, ~ chlorine left after disinfection ~ is very very small. There is 860 times less chlorine from disinfection of vegetables than the chlorine in a glass of tap water.

Similarly, the tiny residue of bleach from disinfecting a serving of veg is 5700 times less than the bleach your body absorbs from taking a shower in chlorinated tap water.

Continuing with practical everyday examples of actual relative risks: Since smoking deaths account for roughly 500,000 US deaths per year, and ALL contaminants in drinking water cause only 250 - 1000 US deaths per year, ~ being around a smoker is likely your biggest risk ~ where being around smokers is 420,000 times riskier than eating disinfected vegetables.

In terms of actual (increasing) relative risks: Due to DEATH RISKS, please plan on
~ not using tap water: 520 times higher risks of death from 3 glasses of water vs. 5 servings of veg per day,
~ not taking showers: 1,150 times higher risks of death from 1 shower per day vs. 5 servings of veg per day,
~ not driving your car: 28,900 times higher risks of death for driving vs. disinfected veg,
~ not seeing a doctor and NO hospital visits: 103,500 times higher risks of medical error death vs. disinfected veg,
~ not seeing being around smokers: 420,000 times higher risks of smoking related death vs. disinfected veg,

Why is this all true? Because the amount of bleach residue is tiny tiny tiny.
10 drops of 5% bleach in a liter of water is a 1:2000 dilution that results in a disinfectant concentration of just 0.025 g of bleach per liter. 25 milligrams in a liter is a tiny amount. When you rinse the food with water, at most 2% of the original solution remains, which means that at most 0.0005 g bleach per LITER of bleach remain on your lettuce.

For 0.5 mL remaining of the rinse water with tiny residues of bleach on your food, you then have just 0.0000007 g of bleach.

Do you really believe that 0.0000007 g of bleach will affect the bacteria in your stomach?
If so, you should never drink tap water nor should you ever take a shower.

Hope these very real 4 decades of data shine a little light on the monsters under the bed - to help you understand what your real risks in life are - and to help readers make rational fact-based health choices to care for themselves and their family. Do any of us really plan to never drive, nor take showers, nor see the doctor?
Dr. Steven Fry
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


YucaLandia


Feb 14, 2012, 7:50 AM

Post #38 of 43 (3186 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Cities with potable water?

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Excellent, excellent, excellent point on washing hands...

Relative to the risks described above, effective hand washing ( 20 seconds of scrubbing with soapy suds ~ 2 Yankee Doodles ~ of washing) really is one the very best measures we can take for healthy living .
steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


sfmacaws


Feb 14, 2012, 10:33 AM

Post #39 of 43 (3157 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Cities with potable water?

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I'll be honest. I rarely soak vegetables if they are only for Mimi and I, especially if I am going to cook them. When we have guests though, I do soak everything especially if it will be served raw. I use a very small amount of chlorine in a sink of water for around 10 minutes, then I rinse everything thoroughly in RO water. No bleach residue, no sick guests.

I almost always buy the hydroponic lettuce anymore. I like it, it seems fresher and it keeps a lot longer in the refrigerator with a little water on the roots. Since there are only two of us, the ability to not have to throw a lot out is important. Again, if it is for just us, I don't do more than a quick rinse in RO water. The main things that I do soak before even we eat them are bumpy fruits like cantaloupe and strawberries, I soak them before I cut them.

I'm a bit maniacal about washing my hands frequently, I take acidophillus and eat yogurt daily, and I use bleach to clean anything that has touched raw chicken or pork and hydrogen peroxide with vinegar to clean all other surfaces.

We rarely get sick from food, never from food eaten at home, and I've only had to treat myself for parasites once. I do get tested every couple of years.

I think what Steve is trying to do is give people the information to make their own choices about what is doable and what will give them the best return for time spent.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




Anonimo

Feb 14, 2012, 11:02 AM

Post #40 of 43 (3152 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Cities with potable water?

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Quote
When you rinse the food with water, at most 2% of the original solution remains, which means that at most 0.0005 g bleach per LITER of bleach remain on your lettuce.


So, after I soak the vegs in bleach solution, I then have to rinse of the disinfectant soak with agua purificada? This could get costly in the long run as well as time consuming.

Saludos,
Anonimo.

PS: We are having salad for lunch. Well soaked in Microdyn solution.
Had it yesterday. No problems so far.


YucaLandia


Feb 14, 2012, 11:26 AM

Post #41 of 43 (3148 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Cities with potable water?

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The rinse is for vegetables that hold water, leafy things like spinach, cilantro, sprouts, & lettuce - otherwise, most of us find the chlorine smell from the residual water held-up in the leaves ... unappetizing.

If there was a good viable alternative to bleach, that is odorless and safe, I'd be glad to switch,
steve
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Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


sanjuan

Feb 14, 2012, 12:44 PM

Post #42 of 43 (3118 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Cities with potable water?

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Interesting. I'm curious to know if Merida has constant water pressure in their lines or is it like where I live and we only get water for 3 hours 3 times a week. I've heard with the latter that contamination from seepage into the lines when there is no pressure can be a problem.


sfmacaws


Feb 14, 2012, 1:54 PM

Post #43 of 43 (3104 views)

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Re: [sanjuan] Cities with potable water?

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We don't have those types of interruptions in Merida. The water flows at a sufficient rate to get up to tinacos (about 20') in houses without a cisterna. I have a cisterna under the garage floor and use a pump for pressure and to fill a tinaco on the 2nd story roof. That's much higher, ceilings are between 18' and 20' on both floors. Reading about these water and electrical problems elsewhere in the country I feel very fortunate that everything works pretty well here.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán


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