Water In Samoa

The first time you tell a kid how to paint something, and let them do it, they inevitably go way overboard.  With that said, the Samoan Water Authority seems to be about 6 years old.  For some amount of time that I am unaware of, our village had built and maintained their own water system.  It worked moderately well.  The only down side was the water quality during and after rain.  (This new system has yet to be tested.)  The Samoan Water Authority is steadily taking over these village-based systems and converting them to metered pressurized systems.  After waiting for roughly three months, we got our new meter installed and are fully connected to the system.  So why do I say that the Samoan Water Authority is acting like a six year old?  Every time we turn the water on, our pipes burst apart with such force that PVC joints have shattered against cinder block walls and sink fixtures have blown holes in the ceiling and dented the sinks.  This evening, Karen frantically attempted to reconnect two pipes that had spontaneously blown apart.  What was the result?  Karen took her shower outside and started screaming for someone to turn off the pipe… it was quite the scene.   We have spent 5 days repairing old joints/old pipes and properly gluing them together.  We are still however, unable to leave the system on.

As part of the system repair we are also updating some areas.  First, we have taken out the old shower area where the neighbors like to get our water (which is now stealing since we are paying for it.) and replaced it with underground piping.  Second, we relocated/updated the shower to the side of Lusia’s house.  This included extending the cement walkway/patio and installing new pipes to that side of the house.  As Amalele and I were gluing the new shower pipes together, Pio decided to turn on the water.  We were thrilled that nothing was leaking.  So, Amalele and I continued to work past the valves we had installed.  Amalele decided to take a moment and admire his newly found plumbing skills and look down at the pipe that he had recently glued.  Pio wasted no time and opened the valve 100%  The blast of water/air that came out of the pipe pummeled Amalele squarely in the face, enveloped his head, and still reached higher than the roof.  All I could do was laugh and watch the fight that ensued.  At the end of today, we have two freshly blown joints, with no masonry nails to attach the PVC piping to the cinder block wall with, we are three more joints and a shower head away from finishing, and we have a 99% chance forecast of severe bursting tomorrow.

On the bright side, we did manage to take two showers in our bathroom with the new pressure – it’s the strongest shower I’ve ever had in my whole life.  In fact, it’s so strong it flooded the entire bathroom.  Now all we need is hot water.

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2 Responses to Water In Samoa

  1. Hey Dave. Do you want me to pick anything up from Lowe’s for your new water situation? It’s got to fit into a suitcase.

  2. Andre Nacmanie says:

    ha. sounds hilarious… pictures? Do you think going to a metered system will cause stress to the Samoan lifestyle? It seems when no one paid, people could be closer and have no worries about communal resources, Now with water as an expense, you have to up barriers to your neighbors. Just Sayin…

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