About a half million residents of the greater metro area lost water at least twice over the weekend.
The first came for a break in the principal water main in Orosi, said the Instituto Costarricense de Acueductos y Alcantarillados. The state water company said Friday afternoon that service would be shut down for seven hours Saturday to fix the rupture.
The outage mainly affected residents from the center of San José to points east, including La Unión, Curridabat and Desamparados.
The second outage was not planned. The water institute announced Sunday morning that pumps at the La Valencia well fields failed due to an electrical problem. The failure seems to have been related to recharging the system after fixing the Orosi rupture. There also were line ruptures reported.
This appears to have happened late Saturday, and water was cut off in the Central Valley until about 2:30 a.m.
Yet another problem developed Sunday morning, when the state water company said that some customers would be without water until about 9 p.m.
The problems are not to be confused with a continuing shortage of water in Hatillo. Residents there blocked the major Circunvalación highway Thursday demanding water. Other residents in Barrio Cuba report an absence of water. The water institute was delivering water tankers to Hatillo and promised efforts to improve the system. Some 20,000 Hatillo residents were involved.
The situation has prompted some tanker owners to provide service on their own, and Fuerza Pública officers were seen questioning a tanker driver Sunday night because he had his vehicle hooked up to a hydrant.