I managed a few minutes up on the roof yesterday to clear out some old telephone and TV cables, and, well, just poke around to see what's up there. The ubiquitous rooftop water tank or "tinaco" is filled by a pump from the reserve cistern, or "aljibe", under the ground floor terrazo which itself is filled by city water and/or rain runoff from the roof. The water, which here I believe is pumped from a large well, doesn't flow all day so everyone maintains a reserve. A reserve that also helps in case either city water or power is cut off following a bad storm. The aljibe holds about 3,000 gallons and the tinaco about 175. The only pressure in the system, about 10 or 11 psi, is what's provided by the height of the tinaco. It's a lot less than you are probably used to but sufficient for showers, etc. Eventually I'll install a small pump and bladder tank to boost the pressure in the system to around 40psi. All in good time.
By the way, for cooking and drinking we use water in the 5 gallon "garafones" that we buy at the small "teinda" across the street for 20 pesos or US$1.67.
Yes, the LPG tank is on the roof as well. I have no idea why as there is ample room around the house. Perhaps it is to keep it away from thieves, Perhaps it is habit from the cities where back yards often aren't accessible from the street. Perhaps it is for aesthetics. Who knows? It's a 300 liter tank that will probably not see a refill until June or July given what's currently in the tank. Conveniently, the price of LPG is set by the Government and I can download the price for our area. Currently it is 12 pesos/kg or 6.48 pesos/ltr (US$0.45/lb or US$2.04/gal). There are two gas lines coming down from the roof tank; one to the water heater in the laundry/utility room, the "lavadora" or "bodega", and one to the other side of the house for the kitchen. Each has a couple of branches for...something. They are currently unused but one might see its way to a grill. Unfortunately, those lines aren't terribly well secured and the soft copper pipes are subject to friction and possible rupture. That project is moving up the list quickly. Also, I think I will invest in a gas gauge I can mount closer to the ground so I don't have to climb the roof each time to check. All in good time.
Yesterday I cooked up some pizzas. Different flour, different oven...hey, they were good but not really up to par. However, it was a mess to do without a good pizza peal so that's on my list of necessary culinary items. Also, the heat from the oven, well, let's just say there's a good reason for all the outdoor kitchens in Mexico. So, lesson learned: No more pizzas until the outdoor oven is built. Yes, I'm building an outdoor pizza/bread oven. It's not quite as high on the list as rerouting and securing the gas lines, but it's not far behind. All in good time.
Designs for the upstairs terrazo railing, screened in back porch, and vegetable garden are coming along. Oh, and there's a new, tiny little leak in the upstairs shower that will need attention later today, but...
All in good time.