I have waited a while before weighing in on this thread. I agree that there are a ton of highly educated and idealistic people in Mexico. However, if the basic infrastructure is antiquated and there isn't the money or the practical/realistic possibility of upgrading then it is very difficult to provide water and sewage services that folks are used to in Canada or the USA. You have to understand that Merida is a very old city and the streets are narrow, some, if not most water mains might run under streets, sidewalks and maybe even under actual houses. From what I have read, the water in Merida and even Progreso IS tested regularly at source. But the water leaving the main supply travels through pipes that are very old and what ends up at the house might not be quite as clean as when it started out.
We live at the beach and if we had to rely on municipal water we would not be flushing toilets, washing dishes nor taking showers. A well is a necessity here. Yes, a well involves a pump and a pump requires electricity...but if the plumbing system is set up correctly, the tinaca on the roof will supply gravity fed water without electricity.
All the folks offering advice to Yucatan4me are doing so based on their own real life experience here in the Yucatan. They know what they are talking about and I agree with all of them. This is NOT Canada nor USA, it is Mexico. You will only come to accept that fact once you have lived here for a few years.
I think everyone who moves here believes, for the first few months, that they can do something to change how things work. It doesn't happen and we all eventually accept that fact and just go with the flow.
Come on down, rent for a year or two, see how you fit into Mexico, not how you can make Mexico fit into your way of thinking (cause that ain't never gonna happen) and then go from there.
This area of Mexico is a wonderful place to live but it isn't for everyone.
(Just as a caveat..We lived "out in the boonies" in Canada before retiring. We had a well as a source of water and a septic tank/weeping bed for sewage for 40 years. We never found that to be a problem. Also had a 200 gallon propane tank for heat, cooking, hot water and clothes dryer. Maybe that's why we get along with "the Mexican way" as easily as we do? LOL)
I agree as well, Mexico is not the US or Canada; I checked and it's geographical location is 20.98 latitude and -89.62 longitude (laughing because a smart a$$ answer to a smart a$$ statement is funny Haha, j/k. I'm glad you sat back and waited because you are correct about the very limited information you gave. Below is a more comprehensive and scientific answer to my question. I should have just researched it and ran with it. I'm not sure the beating I'm taking was worth the effort I had hoped someone here had already did this and knew specific people/labs/universities, and professionals to contact. I can research that as well and I will be happy to share that with you when I do.
Mexico is concerned (very intelligent people just as I had assumed) and does monitor their resources with very detailed scientific accuracy.The people who live in Merida may be interested in the "real life" science conducted on their water supply. Please see Applied Geography.
Fascinating that this buyer beware business which is constantly being stated is anything but caveat emptor in this specific conversation. This buyer is making herself aware. I am adhering to the due diligence required, and as I do I'm told Mexico isn't for me because I am being diligent -- a circular train of thought. Huh??? What??? I understand why this is an emotional topic for some people living ANYWHERE in the world, including the US; water is very important and the unknown can be very scary; it's uncharted territory for most. I'm fortunate to have some working knowledge on the matter. Knowledge is power and without it I would be afraid -- it's not the answers I fear, it's never asking the question that I fear.
The study in Applied Geology primarily focuses on nitrates and they explain why they focus on nitrates. Furthermore, it details the source of the water supply in Merida (no one here seemed to know where their well water originated), as well as the locations of the wells. "Nitrate in water is undetectable without testing because it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. A water test for nitrate is highly recommended for households with infants, pregnant women, nursing mothers, or elderly people."
The very knowledgeable and very informed "experts" state: "If excessive nitrate-nitrogen is present in your water supply, you have two basic choices: obtain an alternate water supply or use some type of treatment to remove the nitrate-nitrogen. The need for an alternate water supply or nitrate-nitrogen removal should be established before making an investment in treatment equipment or an alternate supply. Base the decision on a nitrate analysis by a reputable laboratory, [emphasis added] and after consulting with your physician to help you evaluate the level of risk or other professionals."
Without digging deeper into "what you should test for" and "how to interpret the results" most experts would recommend knowing the levels of the various contaminates; easy peasy, fill a cup with tap water and send it off to the lab. Once you know what you're dealing with you can make an informed decision (as noted above). As many on this forum have stated over and over; caveat emptor. As I see it I have 2 options; test and treat the water according to the results or just ignore it and pretend it doesn't exist.
In the end, I stand by my decision to know about the water in my home despite the hazing I got here with several people posting "Mexico may not be the place for me". I assume there are others of all Nationalities living in Merida who have "been there, done that". It's a part of buying a home -- and so is a septic inspections BTW. This may be an entirely new side of Mexico that some have never experienced I don't need rules and regs to tell me what I should or shouldn't do when it comes to the water in my home. I'm capable of doing some things without the government telling me
BTW, I have traveled and lived around the globe. Like you, I had a farm with a well and propane -- 20 miles to the nearest stop light. I've survived without electric and water in below zero weather. I could scream at the top of my lungs and no one would hear me. So, I may have a tiny bit of knowledge about what it takes to survive, alone, with zero help from a man hehehe But hey, I'm sure Mexico is much worse than that... sorry for the sarcasm. I think most are trying to be helpful in a somewhat condescending macho manner.