So today was my first HORRIFIC experience with having NO water in Vacamonte, Arraijan Panama. And here I thought I managed to bypass the Panama city water issues since I wasn’t there last December or this December.

They said it was ALL of Vacamonte, but I have not idea if that’s correct information because it’s very hard to get truthful information in Panama.

I believe they shut the water off around 4-5 am, as I had gotten up & there was no water. I figured by the time I got up it would be back on, but NO SUCH LUCK.

The entire day it was off & I couldn’t run my errands, as I couldn’t take a shower. That coupled with the stress of the Internet going down AGAIN, I now had another headache. I have MORE headaches in Panama then I ever did back in Ontario.

Marie went over to Idaan & they told her there was a MAJOR problem, & we have to call the Idaan Vacamonte location & they gave her 2 different numbers (207-1200 & 255-2671). I tried both, none would work.

I managed to get 2 different numbers from an expat (523-8567 & 523-8568) & we called them over & over again all the while me spending tons of money on minutes. First we got a woman who lied & said it would be on in an hour (it was 2:20 pm). Of course the water WASN’T turned on within the hour. We also got hung up on several times.

Then we called Idaan again 2-3 hours later & spoke to a man who said it would be back on later in the afternoon (it was already 4 pm, how much later in the afternoon could it be?)

He gave us a direct 24 hour line to Idaan 504-5723 & we waited.

Finally 2 hours later we started calling & the woman there hung up the phone on us 3 different times. How anyone can live like this with people who treat each other with such disrespect is beyond me.

I tried calling back those other 2 numbers given to Marie with no success, & the other working numbers had no one manning the phones any longer as clearly they were closed since it was after 4 pm.

Then I decided to go next door to the neighbor I spoke to this morning when I went to confirm that it wasn’t just MY house that had no water. He spoke to Marie & eventually gave me the number to Idaan in I believe Vacamonte 523-8654.

That number isn’t even close to the numbers Marie was given from the Idaan Panama City location.

This is what I mean by lack of intelligence. Mistake after mistake after mistake. NOTHING in this country runs smoothly. Everything is always a struggle. The amount of extra work that has to be done just to get ONE thing done amazes me. Lack of organization, lack of a database with ALL the locations & ALL their correct numbers. Even if they didn’t have a database, what, they DON’T have a handbook with this information in it? What did the US & Canada do before computers? They were organized & streamlined – for the most part.

The neighbor was nice enough to call Idaan & again they told him there was a MAJOR problem. The Idaan guy told him hopefully by 8 pm. We’ll see, but I doubt it. It’s now 7:21 pm.

Of course I wasn’t prepared for this so I have been struggling all day to stay hydrated & thank gawd I had bottles of shitty water from back when the landlady had shut off the water in the last place I lived. I haven’t posted that drama story yet, but I will.

How a country that is SO hot & sooo dirty & dusty can go with NO WATER is beyond me. Yes people with money have those HUGE blue water tanks, but since I haven’t been stable since I got here, I never looked into how it works & got one.



47 thoughts on “Water Problems in Panama”

  1. It’s 9:38 pm & still NO WATER.

    I tried to call the Vacamonte number & NO ANSWER!!!

    I’m going to be out of drinking water soon & I will have no clean dishes left, not to mention I won’t be able to even wash my hands. I won’t be able to cook & you can visualize the toilet.

  2. So we FINALLY got water (very little, but it was coming through the pipes) yesterday. I don’t know what time. When I got up at 11 am, it was slowly running through the pipes, but I still couldn’t flush my toilet.

    Now I think there’s things floating in the water .

    I’ve never been so scared to not have water in my life. Probably because I’ve NEVER gone through this in all my 46 years. If this happens back home, there’s no way it would take them that long to fix it. 4-5 hours top I guesstimate.

  3. Again NO WATER today.

    No warning, nothing.

    I had to go into the city to get groceries & run errands & now I can’t. I’m stuck here with NO food or WATER!!!

    I’m trying to call the number above, but no one is answering or it just cuts out & there’s nothing, dead silence!!!!

    I was just on the phone with an expat who said when he came here, in 2010, it took Union Fenoza 26 FUCKING DAYS to get his electricity turned on, can you believe that????

    You have to call 311 & it’s free from your cell.

    They put in a report.

    So once again IDAAN clearly doesn’t know what they are doing. This goes beyond not having water once in December.

  4. Well I guess we can’t go a month with no water. I got home from the city tonight at 11 pm & again there was little to no water.

    I filed a report with 311. Let’s see what happens.

  5. Water off AGAIN. They say it’s some electrical problem & we all know how the electricity in Panama is terrible. This is after I had contacted them 2 days ago about the water problem & it seemed to be fixed later on that night.

  6. Again NO WATER. I woke up to no water, so I don’t know when it went off, but it’s 7 pm now & still not even a DROP.

    I also had low pressure water problems last week & then no water, but they got it fixed within a few hours.


    My next door neighbor told me that the complex down the street has it way worse than us.

    So if you want to move here, expect to have no water a lot of the time. They can’t even run their own water plant properly & they are surrounded by water. No comment.

  7. It’s now the 29th & STILL NO FUCKING WATER. I wasted money & a whole day that I couldn’t work going to ASEP to see what the HELL is going on.

    They supposed screwed up sooooo bad, that 14 different communities went without water. They got it fixed yesterday, but then they FUCKING BROKE IT AGAIN!!!!

    My complex has no water, others in Vacamonte & other areas have their water.

    The problem is soooo bad now, that I can smell feces & urine from the entire neighborhood in my own house.

    I haven’t been able to take a shower, so I reek.

    I barely have any water to drink & no water for washing my hands.

    While we captured the water from the rain last night, it’s all dirty, so this tells me the pollution is SOOOOO bad in Panama that it rains dirty water. Can you believe that?

    So that water is useless other than for the toilets.

    I went higher up in ASEP & one of the engineers called the Chief Engineer for Arraijan who said it would be fixed by 6 pm.

    In typical Panamanian fashion, they lie. It’s now 7:15 & we are NO FUCKING CLOSER TO GETTING WATER!!!!


    This fucking hell hole of a country can’t even keep one of the basic elements in life running. Every month or less they shut off or lose their water.

  9. Again NO WATER!!!

    They claim it’s a tree that fell & somehow affected the electricity for the water plant & this shut the water off in tons of areas in Arrijan. Fine I can accept that, but how long does it take to fix it???

    The water has been off for at least 12 hours now & they are no closer to fixing it than they were before.

    How do I know this? Because normally they will tell you it’s going to be fixed in X hours & of course that’s never the truth, you have to tack on another 3-4 hours to what they tell you.

    It’s been 4 hours since I first spoke to 311 & they are still telling me the same thing they told me 4 hours ago.

    I tried calling Union Fenoza to find out something from them & their phone line either just rings & rings, or when the girl answers it she hangs up on me. This has happened 3 times already.

  10. No water AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Turns out that Idaan has 24 hours to fix the problem. Panama allows people to go without water for 24 hours before it’s considered an issue.

  11. NO WATER in Panama AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!! I finally remembered the contact I have in ASEP re: the water. See my brain is deteriorating here in Panama as I had his info from months ago.

    He told them that it will come on at 8 pm, but we know how their word means nothing.

    This is twice this WEEK!!!!

    And I went next door to see if the neighbor called 311, but nope, he was too busy watching TV.

    This is why NOTHING ever gets done in this country because no one cares or is too scared? to call & say the water is off again?

    I had to get him to speak to them as 311 has been giving me problems the last several times I’ve called them refusing to try & find someone who speaks English or even speaking to me in English when they know some.

  12. Either at the beginning of this week or the end of last week there was no water again. I was told by my contact that they were doing maintenance. I didn’t list it here because they did turn the water on around 2 pm.

    Once again no notice that they were going to do any maintenance. It’s not like they don’t have staff who can notify the residents, they just don’t care. Same thing happened in Panama City, no notice when they turn the water off.

    Now again TODAY no water.

    I’m waiting to hear with the excuse is this time.

    And my contact at ASEP is telling me I have to stop calling him because he can’t handle it every time I have no water. I said aren’t YOU responsible for making sure the people of Panama have water?

    Listen to the logic. He’s sick & tired of me calling him yet I’M the one with NO WATER & shouldn’t be calling him in the first place.

    ASEP should be responsible for making sure these problems get fixed once & for all, but as is typical in Panama, no one ever tries to solve the overall problem, they just put a band aid on it to fix it for that moment or day.

  13. So on the day of my last post it took them FUCKING 7 hours to get the water up & running. Then about 2 hours later I noticed the water was all cloudy. I didn’t use it to fill up my water purifier as I was too scared it was toxic.

    Then the following morning the water was OFF AGAIN. It took them another 7 hours to turn it back on.


  14. When they finally turned the water back on I couldn’t use it. It was cloudy. Of course I tried to call 311 which was a major event communicating.

    Today the water was clear again, but they must have dumped tons of chlorine in it, because I could smell something was off.

    So water problems again in Panama. Who knows how this will affect my health.

  15. I didn’t have a chance to update this, but on October 15th, 2012 the water was off AGAIN, so that’s 4 days in a row with no water, they’d turn it on for a few hours, then it would be off for minimum 5-8 hours or longer.

    And ever since the water has been terrible. While the water is now clear, they must have dumped TONS of chemicals in it because now my hands feel tight & dry & my skin is peeling.

    Getting them to fix this now will be a nightmare, but all I can do is try.

  16. WATER OFF AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I only got 4 hours sleep because when I got up & realized the water was off, the stress wouldn’t let me go back to sleep.

    Called the contact at ASEP, he lied to me saying he’d call me back & didn’t. I called 311 & there’s some message I don’t understand & then it keeps disconnecting the line. I’ve tried 4 times & NOTHING.

    I was supposed to go into Panama City today & now I CAN’T because I can’t take a shower!!!

    So this is 6 times in 2 weeks with NO WATER IN PANAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. When the water finally came back on 12 hours later that day, it was cloudy again.

    Water was off again on Saturday, but it must have come on before I got up, but the damage this probably does to the pipes is amazing. They fixed the cloudiness.

    Water is off AGAIN TODAY. so that’s 8 times in 2.5 weeks.

  18. Again no water today since very early in the morning, so it’s been almost 12 hours with NO WATER IN PANAMA, or maybe longer.

    I called 311 again of course, & this time a guy actually put me through to someone who speaks English instead of all the females who work there that constantly have HUGE EGOS & refuse to let me speak to anyone who speaks English. Their mantra “WE SPEAK SPANISH” is childish & very old.

    So now I know who to ask for when I have to call again.

    I hope she works there a lot & they will actually put me through to her b/c I can only imagine that I’ll get resistance & they will babble in Spanish & refuse to pass me through to her. I heard this is one of the main reasons for all the incompetence in companies in Panama, is because they are immature & they all want the power & glory. This means they can’t work as a team & refuse to pass things that need to be passed to someone else.

    She said that the water pipe broke again.

    Do you know how many times I’ve heard that BS excuse???

    Oh & when she was signing off of the phone with me I heard what they NORMALLY always say when they are talking to me in Spanish.

    I had to laugh at it b/c it’s a joke.

    Something like… “Thank you for calling 311 to help Panama be the BEST PANAMA we can be.”

    Yeh, they have no water, constant electricity issues, their Internet is terrible, but somehow calling 311 is going to solve all of that.


  19. So I forgot to post about last weekend.

    I was sick & once when I got up there was NO WATER again. By the time I got up the water was back on again.

    Fast forward to today Saturday, again NO WATER. Then I realized there was a trickle of water.

    I’m still not feeling well so I forgot to call 311. I figured someone else would have called by now, but I guess no one did (can you believe this many people & not one person calls). Finally I called around 9 pm. I struggled communicated with 2 females both of which refused to try & find someone who speaks English, one of which told me IN ENGLISH that she doesn’t speak English. Stupid stupid STUPID. I finally hung up on her out of total frustration.

    I called back & the other girl was just as stupid. Refused to try & say even one word in English & not only that, spoke a mile a minute in Spanish & refused to say words that were simple so I could try & understand her. I put in a report, but it’s now almost 1 am & the water is STILL not full pressure. That’s assuming she put in the report.

    Other than the first couple of times I called 311 when I didn’t know that these water problems were going to go on for months & months & become a nightmare, now every time I call it’s very stressful for me. Only the one time I got that guy who found someone who speaks English was I overjoyed. The rest of them REFUSE to help & I can tell it’s out of spite.

  20. Tried to call up 311 to speak Stephania Perez who speaks English, & the girl who’s a complete moron & robot kept repeating the same thing over & over & over again that I’m calling 311.

    She refused to let me speak to her repeating over & over again that they only speak Spanish.

    FUCKING NIGHTMARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. Yesterday the water came almost to a trickle, but then amazingly it came on full blast within 1-2 hours.

    Today AGAIN there’s no water (less than yesterday) & I’m nervous as I have 2 sinks full of dishes that need to be washed & I have no clean dishes left.

    Not to mention it’s VERY hot in Panama now & so all the bathrooms are going to start to smell terribly soon.

  22. So stupid me thought that SOMEONE in this complex would have called 311 or Idaan to report the water pressure being so low that you can’t take a shower, flush the toilet, do dishes, etc., but NOOOOOO, I don’t think anyone did, because when I got home from my errands, I had the neighbor call & when I asked him what they said, he said nothing, they just took the report.

    Now if there had been several calls made to 311 about the problem, the operators there would already know what the Idaan problem is because that’s how it’s been in the past.

    This tells me that this call made at close to 8 pm was the FIRST bloody call or close to it.


    It’s now almost 2 am & STILL NO FUCKING WATER & I have to go to the toilet #2.

    The water pressure has been close to off since around 1 pm this afternoon so that’s 12-13 hours now. And they must have known there was a problem because yesterday there was a problem as well.

    And of course the neighbor doesn’t even bother to ask what the problem is. He’s a nice guy, but really I’m sorry, has no brains. Why do people wait for others to give them the answer, why don’t they ask WHY IS THE WATER DOWN & see what they say?

    This again just proves how nothing works in this country because either the country trains the citizens not to ask any questions so they can control the sheeples, or the people are just too blank to think to ask the OBVIOUS question. WHY IS THE WATER OFF??????????

    I can’t even take a shower.

  23. They shut the water off at some point in the middle of the night.

    By the time I got up it was back on again, so the water was basically off from around 1-2 pm on Friday until some time on Saturday let’s say between 10-1. That’s almost 24 hours.

  24. Water off AGAIN. It’s been off since 9 am & thank GAWD someone at 311 passed me to someone who speaks English. She said it won’t be back on until 6 pm, which means maybe by 8 pm it will be back on.


    Yes I know, I sound like a broken record, but YOU try living like this.

    Panama is an uncivilized country, there’s just no other categorization.

  25. So here’s an update on the water saga (rolling eyes in the air)…

    The water came on around 5-6 pm & when I got to the kitchen, there was MUD IN THE SINK.


    I let it run, but I’m afraid to do anything that requires washing dishes, food or even myself. : (

    It’s clear now, but the water is cloudy.

    I called 311 again & after struggling b/c she didn’t get me anyone who speaks English, I hope she put the report in.

  26. So I’m writing this late past midnight. Today (the 21st), the water was out AGAIN!

    Didn’t come back on until around 6:30 pm. I couldn’t take a shower & I had to go into the city.

    And when it came back on, it was cloudy again. It seems clear now.

    So that’s only 6 days since the last outage & 5 days since the outage prior to that.

    We live like animals here in Panama.

    Oh & when I asked nicely to speak to someone in English at 311, the girl again lied to me & said no one speaks English there & then hung up the phone on me.


    This time I didn’t call to tell 311. Why you ask?

    Because my life is about to get 10 times worse here in Panama.

    The neighbors that put in that patio out back put in a plastic water slide type device for their daughter.

    Yesterday I was awoken at around 10 am to kids screaming, the dogs barking & people talking.

    I ONLY got 5 hours sleep.

    Today they were out back, but because there was no water, so they couldn’t invite the neighborhood over.

    I’M LIVING IN HELL. I can’t even sleep when I want to. I got disrupted sleep today.

  28. So today (January 24, 2013 – I haven’t gone to bed yet) there was no water again.

    I know it came back on around 2:30 pm, as I was awoken by screaming yelling children & barking dogs.

  29. It’s almost 8 pm & STILL NO WATER!!!!!!!!!!! If I had to hazard a guess, it’s been 12 hours now.

    Called 311, she won’t find me someone who speaks English & then just hung up the phone on me.

  30. So the water FINALLY came on around 10:30 pm, but it’s cloudy & after washing the dishes, my hands are hurting me.

    Whatever they put in the water is obviously VERY TOXIC.

  31. Having HUGE water issues.

    The water is giving me a headache & is numbing my face. This is the same problem I had twice now since being in Panama. Once in another house in Arraijan & once in this house.

    They put something in the water that is TOXIC.


    I called ASEP & the girl hung up the phone on me twice both when trying to transfer me & when I called back.


  32. I’m still sick from drinking the water in Panama. I am getting headaches & my tongue & mouth are going numb & I can feel that something is seriously wrong whenever I drink the water & you have to understand that I have a Nikken water filter, so this is what is happening WITH the water being filtered.

    I’m dehydrated & Daisy never called me back.

    I called ASEP again, spoke to someone else. I was told Carlos would call me back & HE NEVER DID.


  33. So an update….

    They FINALLY got the water working.

    I found out that they had dug up the ground to get to the HUGE pipe & then what do they do after replacing it? LOL They leave the old rusting pipe on top of the earth, just laying there.

    The water eventually went back to normal THANK GAWD & I thought this will be the end of all the water problems, but of course IT’S NOT!!!

    I woke up today & there’s NO WATER AGAIN IN PANAMA.

    Turns out it’s ALL of Arraijan.

    The girl at 311 wouldn’t get me someone who speaks English, so I don’t know the reason it’s off, I just know it’s all of Arraijan.

    It’s 4:50 pm. I had to go to the mall today & clearly I can’t now.





  35. So just when I thought that the water problems were SOLVED, well they AREN’T!

    2 days ago on Friday, there was NO WATER the entire day for over 12 hours.

    It came on & of course was cloudy & it hurt my hands when I washed the dishes.

    Then on Saturday AGAIN no water until 4 pm.

    Again the water was cloudy & hurt my hands.

    I am too scared to drink that water, so I had to use the water in my stored bottles to pour into my Nikken. Now I Have no water left & I called 311 to complain about the condition of the water. Who knows how many days before the water is back to somewhat normal, OR if we will even have water this week .

    Last time it took about 3 days before water was no longer cloudy & hurting me.

  36. I’m soooo busy these days, I don’t even have time to come on here & tell you when I have NO WATER for the day.

    For the last 3 days I’ve had no water.

    1. First day no water for 14 hours.
    2. Later that night after midnight, no water for 3 hours
    3. Now again tonight no water AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. NO WATER AGAIN. I needed to wash dishes & can’t, & I had to go to bed with the toilet FULL.

    I have to do something very important tomorrow & I don’t even know if I can take a shower now.

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