Ecuador Coastal Water

by | Mar 11, 2011 | Archives

Ecuador Coastal Water

Merri and I love our time on Ecuador’s coast, but sometimes delegates who visit are concerned about the water supply which is often delivered in trucks like this.


The truck may look bad but the water from the dependable suppliers is pretty good.  The water is obtained from springs in the mountains off the coast.  As you can see, the suppliers do not spend much capital on their trucks. Gasoline is $1.50 a gallon. Labor costs are really low. This means that 500 gallon tank of water delivered to one’s cistern can be as inexpensive as $10.

However you have to know the ropes when drinking water on Ecuador’s coast.

Jean Marie Butterlin reports why.

Ecuador Mid Coast and Water

We are asked many questions about the quality and amount of water available, along Ecuador’s coast.  Here a few facts about water :

Cities like Crucita, Bahia and Pedernales have a city water system that has “potable” but not drinkable water. The water has has been treated but cannot be used for cooking or drinking.  Right now Bahia is undergoing a renovation of its water piping system. This will help improve the quality of water.

Some smaller cities like San Jacinto and San Clemente where Gary & Merri have their Ecuador beach apartment have water trucking systems that deliver water to a cistern in your property.  Sometimes delivery is reliable, sometimes not.

Most drinking water  is in the form of  “agua de bidon” which are 5 gallons plastic jugs that everyone has at home. Five gallons cost  $1 delivered to your house. Most restaurants use this water to make ice cubes and juices, but I always ask first the magic question, “agua de bidon” ?

The quality of the beach and river water in the Bahia area is good.  Bahia has a sewage treatment plant and the community is very ecology/green oriented.   Bahia is the only city in Ecuador that has been declared an Eco city.



I spend time early morning and late evening, walking the sandy beaches of San Clemente or Bahia and getting these healthy negative ions that are generated by the waves as they break on the beach.


This is a good way to detox through your feet.

Most new buildings on Ecuador’s coast have their own desalinization plant to provide good quality water. We also recommend then installing a reverse osmosis filtering system in the kitchen.


Bahia beach on the malecon.  Jean Marie