The City Council of La Guancha announced on September 13 a new restriction on drinking water consumption that affects almost half of the population. The increase in fluoride levels, due to a power cut at the Cruz de los Tarifes Salobres Desalination Station, where the water from the Vergara I and II galleries is treated, has forced prohibit the use of water from the public network for drinking and cooking in ten towns of the municipality, among which is the Santo Domingo neighborhood. THE DAY He visited the area on Friday the 17th and was able to see that most of the residents switched to bottled water years ago and have become used to stoically putting up with restrictions that have been part of their daily lives for decades. In Santo Domingo, the saying is adapted from lived experience to make it clear that “I will not drink from this tap.”
In the Santo Domingo supermarket, opened 34 years ago, they haven’t even noticed this week an increase in bottled water sales. “The water here is usually bad, so people are used to buying it in bottles or jugs. Although they say that you can drink it, not many drink it, ”explains a young worker in the business. “People no longer trust, they are so many times now, that it is hardly used to make some food, but not even that anymore,” Felipe concludes while he is in charge of passing a purchase through the checkout.
“There are people here who take quality bottled water to drink, such as Fonteide, and other cheaper ones to cook, for a question of price,” adds Felipe, while still placing a neighbor’s purchase in a cardboard box. Spending on bottled water is a constant complaint of residents in this area of La Guancha, who miss some compensation for not always being able to have quality water in their homes. “The carafes are not cheap and you have to drink every day,” warns Candelaria.
“Some dogs spend ourselves on water every month,” explains Antonio, while putting a box of Bezoya water in his trunk. «This one, which is softer, I buy it to drink because I suffer from kidneys and I can’t drink just any water. In my house, my grandparents and my parents drank the water in the area, all their lives, but now you notice that it is no longer the same.
Some older people, like Maria, do use tap water for drinking when there are no restrictions. She’s used to it and she doesn’t get a “so bad” score.. Of course, when it comes to caring for her granddaughter, she never prepares “jet bottles.” The restriction for children under 8 years of age, which has been applied again since February 2021 throughout the municipality of La Guancha, is strictly adhered to. Nobody wants more generations with fluorosis stained teeth.
«For us, the water from La Guancha cannot be drunk. I am 41 years old and since I was born I could no longer drink, although they did not say so. My teeth became a garbage, so in this town what we spend the most is bottled water and teeth, “Yaiza says at the hairdresser. “My teeth got stained when I was little and I had to get veneers. If I use it to cook when they say it’s good, “adds Vanessa, a pharmacy worker.
Hernán says, while repairing José’s vehicle at the Autoher workshop, that “whatever they say, I’m still the same, drinking water from the bottle. My parents continue to drink from the tap, but because of the children we stopped using it. Now we have bought a filter as well. The expense is noticeable and everything is becoming more and more expensive: water, electricity, food … ». José nods. He also spends “an income” to drink from the bottle.
“It would be good if when these things happen at least they distributed a few jugs of water among the neighbors,” says Estela without much faith. At the La Costa cafeteria bar they claim for the extra cost of not having water without excess fluoride. «We have to put bottled water even in the coffee maker. We buy multiple filters, but we can’t use them either. The expense is noticeable and, as we are doing so well in the hospitality industry, well, one more thing. And then at home, as we live in La Guancha, all bottled water too », Esther sentenced.
In another business in the area, Juan is missing more information from the City Council: «The first news I have that the water cannot be drunk again is because of you, so it seems to me that the City Council should refer these issues so important in writing, at least to bars and restaurants that serve the public. Who is responsible if something happens? Nobody has communicated anything to me officially. It is not worth putting an ad. What country do we live in? Here we pay for water at the price of gold and it is not even suitable for the bathroom cistern ».