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Posts Tagged ‘Drinking Water’


In an effort to amass more and more money, we have destroyed our planet day in and day out.  Recently I received an e-mail from a blogger-buddy with eye-opening statistics concerning our environment.  I was appalled at the seriousness of the deterioration of our environment.  If don’t change our behavior and start taking care of our habitat we are doomed to lose it.  Living in other planets would be the only option if we pretend to survive after annihilating our own.

Below are some of the statistics included in my friend’s e-mail.  Take a close look at the figures.  They are absolutely staggering, to say the least.

  1. Forest loss this year:  1.9 million hectares
  2. Land lost to soil erosion this year: 2.7 million hectares
  3. CO2 emissions this year:  12.8 billion tons
  4. Toxic chemical released into the environment this year: 3.7 million tons
  5. Desertification this year: 4.6 million hectares
  6. People with no safe drinking water sources: 782 million people
  7. World spending on illegal drugs this year: $152 billion

Need I say more? Good Day.

Source:  World Meters:  Real Time World Statistics

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“It started raining on December 8, 2010.  For fifteen days the narrow Isthmus of Panama received 265 millimeters of rainfall.  This impressive amount of precipitation shattered the statistics of the last ninety years.  Entire towns and villages were submerged with ferocious bodies of water causing enormous damage to property and lives.  The small tourist town of Portobelo is still mourning its nine persons who were killed during a large mudslide.

Rivers swelled like gigantic Anacondas devouring everything in its path.  The capacity of Madden Dam was exceeded and the opening of the gates caused a current so strong, that the Panama Canal was temporarily interrupted for several hours.  The same situation occurred at the Bayano Dam.  In an effort to prevent damages to the turbines, the gates had to be partly opened which worsened the floods downstream.  In the Province of Darien and Kuna Yala hundreds of people were homeless and transferred to schools urgently adapted to accommodate the victims of this natural disaster. It was a monumental deluge I had never seen in this country before.”

This is what I wrote on January 19, 2011, after the unfortunate deluge in Panama at the end of the year.  Shortly after, we purchased a water treatment system to prevent health hazards.  The unusual heavy rainfalls during December, clogged the water purifying filters of the Chilibre water filtering plant.  The drinking water was not safe to drink and the water treatment plant was not working at full capacity.

With this water filtering system we averted the severe water crisis in Panama City.  Currently, the tap water that we receive from the Chilibre plant is used to flush the toilets and the filtered water is for drinking purposes.  We feel much relieved after making this decision.

After a little over two years now, we decided to upgrade our filter, just to make sure we are using the latest technology available in Panama regarding drinking water filters.  There are many horror stories out there about people having health problems due to contaminated water.  Arnulfo Casas, our water filter supplier, recommended that we protect ourselves with a more efficient filter.  We took his word and upgraded our system two days ago.  Indeed, the quality of the water is better than the previous filter.  There is something in the taste of the water that makes it special.  I know that water is supposed to be tasteless, but our water does have a nice taste which induces you to drink more, which is obviously excellent for your health.  After all, our body is 75 percent water.

Snapshot of the faucet of our recently upgraded water filter. The brand is H2O Plus. It was installed in our house two days ago to provide safe drinking water. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Panama had the reputation of having the best tap water in the region about twenty years ago.  I’m afraid we lost our mojo and we now need to protect ourselves with water treatment filters.   I’m looking forward that we could return to the high quality of water we once had—la chicha del Chagres.   Arrivederci.

A close-up view of the new water faucet installed by Arnulfo Casas in our kitchen. I love the design of the faucet. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

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Snapshot of a glass of pure drinking water and a green soursop tropical fruit. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.

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The unusual heavy rainfalls during December, clogged the water purifying filters of the Chilibre water filtering plant.  Currently this water is not safe to drink and the plant is not working at full capacity.  Turbidity in Lake Alajuela caused the severe damage to the plant’s filters.

The Panama authorities are distributing drinking water in bottles throughout the city door-to-door.  More than two million liters of water have been distributed with a total bill exceeding $800,000, representing a cost of $0.27 per liter.  The program will continue until the plant provides safe drinking water according to the  approved health standards of the Ministry of Health.

As a safety measure, we decided to buy a residential water purifying system recommended by a friend of my wife.  The water filter was purchased and installed last week.  I have been monitoring the quality of the water very closely, making sure I don’t detect anything strange that could wreck our health.  So far it’s the best drinking water I’ve ever tasted since I lived in Changuinola which had the best water in the world.

The name of the supplier is Arnulfo Casas who has been installing home water filtering systems for a long time.  His water filtering system consists of three filters connected to each other; each with a special function.

Photograph of Arnulfo Casas, the proud owner of a company dedicated to the installation of drinking water filtering systems in Panama. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.

One of the three units of the system is the Kemflo (AIC RO) post granular activated carbon in-line 2″ x 10″ filter. This filter is typically used as the last carbon filter to polish the taste of the reverse osmosis water.  It is also used for ice makers, refrigerators, drinking fountains and coolers.  It removes chlorine, bad taste and odor, turbidity, THMs, dirt and sediment.  It is recommended to replace the filter after approximately one year or after filtering 1,500 gallons of water.

Photograph of Arnulfo installing the water filtering system underneath the kitchen's sink in our home. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.

The second unit is the Intelifil IF-SM-WS010) 10″ x 2.5″ 19,000 mg/L Water Softening Filers.  These filters are inserted inside two Intelifil housing 10″ x 2.5″ filter made of plastic.  These filters utilizing a dark cation bread resin are designed to remove mineral hardness such as calcium and magnesium.  These hardness minerals are typically the primary cause of scaling in pipes and water using appliances.

Photograph of Arnulfo during the installation of the water filtering system at our house last week. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.

The third unit of the system is the Matrix KX CTO/2 Carbon Block Chlorine Reduction 5 Micron Filters.  Matrix KX + CTO/2 filters simultaneously remove chlorine taste and odor and organic chemicals that contribute to taste and odor while providing the particulate filtration and dirt-holding capacity of an efficient 5 micron nominal sediment filter. These filters are optimized for applications where they perform the role of both a sediment and activated carbon filter.  The filter should be replaced after approximately 6,000 gallons of chlorine removal.

Photograph of the water filtering system before it was installed. As you can see the three united are tightly connected to each other. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.

Photograph of the QMP faucet long reach non-air chrome with black tip where the water flows after it has been filtered. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.

With this system we have avoided the water crisis in the city.  The raw water that we receive from the Chilibre plant is used to flush the toilets and the filtered water is for drinking purposes.  We feel much relieved after taking this decision.

If you feel that you might need a water filtering system, Arnulfo Casas can be reached at  cellphone 6683-1915.  His prices vary according to the specific needs of the customer.

We are sorry that the famous Panama water reputation has been affected by this unexpected natural disaster.  I’m looking forward that we soon return to the high quality of water we once had—la chicha del Chagres. Good Day.

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Statistics show that this year we had more rain than during the last 90 years.  On December 8th, the skies opened up and it rained and rained and rained some more.  Ten persons died in the small town of Portobelo on the Atlantic Side when their homes were covered with mud due to large mud slides.  Hundreds of people had to seek refuge in schools when their homes were submerged under water.  The deluge lasted about fifteen days and whole towns and villages were completely flooded.  Only the roofs could be seed from the air.

The great casualty of these floods was the contamination of drinking water.  Most of the rivers which provided drinking water to the urban centers were filled with mud.  The filters stopped working and the water treatment plants had to halt their operations or decrease the output of fresh water to about forty percent. Water was rationed  and thousands of people had to buy their drinking water at the supermarkets while it lasted.

Fortunately, the Chorrera and Miraflores water treatment plants were slightly affected and their contribution to supplying water to Panama City was most fortunate.  We were lucky to find drinking water at the Don Bosco Church.  The toilets were flushed with rain water collected in pans and pots of all sizes and colors.  When we got water from Chilibre, we collected it in large containers to clean the toilets, since we knew there would be no water the next day.

Yesterday we had running water most of the day and this morning we also had tap water.  I understand the situation is now under control and the rationing of water is almost over.  The Panama Government is importing fresh water from Costa Rica to calm the population down which is desperate for the precious liquid.  Neighborhoods were provided with water by large trucks.  People lined up to fill their containers and sometimes the confusion was so great, the policemen had to intervene to calm the temperaments.

As all this was happening, a strange event was taking place in our front yard.  A patch of plants that almost never bloom, suddenly were covered with bright red flowers.  For every calamity there is a fortunate consequence.  It was a beautiful sight to see our front yard covered with bright red flowers.  I took a picture of this blooming event as a calming catalyst to my nerves for all the unfortunate events which were taking place in our beloved country.

This is what I saw on our front yard about a week ago.  Here we go.

Photograph of red flowers which suddenly bloomed in our front yard last week. Photo ©Omar Upegui R.

Photo: ©Omar Upegui R.

Photo ©Omar Upegui R.

Photo ©Omar Upegui R.

Presently, the waters have subsided and slowly the people are returning to their homes to continue with their lives.  What else is there to do?  The rains have almost ceased and Carne Vale is in many Panamanians minds.  Life has to move on.  Birds must sing and beautiful flowers must grow.  There is time for everything as the Good Book says.  Good Day.

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