Is Tap Water in Costa Rica safe to drink and affordable?
Tap water is nowadays pretty clean in the dry season and very affordable. Depending on where you live.
Most households do not pay more than $30/month for Costa Rican tap water. If you spend more than that, you have a large household or you have a leak.
No matter where you will buy or rent a home, you will probably be connected to AyA, the national water company. AyA manages the water in Most cities. In a rural area, you’ll probably find a water coop.
A water coop is called an Asada. Costa Rica water is relatively cheap and is generally managed by A y A which means Acuaductos y Alcantarillados. But if you are looking to purchase Costa Rica real estate with your preferred GoDutch realtor, ask him/her where the Costa Rica water supply is coming from.
Recommended to read: how to remineralize ro water.
For example, if you buy or rent a home in Roca Verde, in Atenas, the gated community has several wells and water tanks, so the residents of the community don´t run short of water. Most of these private water arrangements have good filters on them so you have perfectly potable drinking water.
Potable water in Costa Rica
Can you drink the water and brush your teeth with tap water? That depends on where you live in Costa Rica.
Most water supplies have very clean potable water. But I have also seen water with mud and other horrible things and stuff that doesn’t belong in potable water. There are still many areas in Costa Rica that have problems with potable water.
Our fridge at home has a good enough water filter to supply me with clean and cool water whenever I need it.
So this is important to check on the water supply before making an offer on a property in Costa Rica. Water supplies are not always constant and many cannot afford to have a water backup system with a pump on their property. This might be necessary when the water company does some work down the road. Or in areas where there are water shortages for a week or so.
A y A, the water company, is in charge of getting all communities in Costa Rica their own potable water. Unfortunately, the growth of the population goes faster than the A y A budget.
Check sort of water supply
When you buy a property in the rainy season, you’ll find most properties have good water pressure. When you buy the property in the dry season, you can have a better feel of what the water pressure is like. That’s when you either need to talk to some neighbors and ask if they run out of water during any time of the year. Or make sure you include the cost of a water reserve tank, a pressure tank, and a water pump to the cost of the purchase if the property doesn´t already have one.
Many rural properties have their water supplied by what is called an “Asada” or a water Co-op. Generally, they don’t have a water meter installed and charge a fixed amount per month for the water supply.
Change ownership on your water meter
Most buyers of real estate do not change the Costa Rica water meter in their name after the purchase. They keep it under the registered name. This might even be a person who has been long dead. It is even possible that the former owner (s) also did not bother to change it into their name.
To be able to change the water bill into your own name, you need to have legal residency and a cédula (ID) number, and the property must be in your name on the National Registry. Or, your property must be owned by a corporation, so you’re domiciled (talk to your lawyer about this). As proof, you need a certification from the National Registry.
If you change the meter into your name, that means you just need to wait until the property you bought appears in your name in the National Register. Once you have that, print out the title search and go to the nearest water company’s office.
Check your water systems before the purchase of a property
Before you purchase Costa Rica real estate, make sure your home inspector checks all the water systems. The inspector should also look for leaking faucets, bathtubs, and other places that can have leaks. If you don’t have a home inspector, ask your GoDutch agent to recommend one.
Before you buy land, ask the seller to supply a water letter from the water company. This letter is a statement that you will be able to connect to the water company. This water letter is a requirement to apply for building plans.
Attorney Rick Philps wrote an excellent article about the availability of a water supply.
Buy the corporation
If you purchase the corporation that owns the property, there is no need to change the water meter. If you do so, you do not need to have legal residency. That’s because the corporation (or S.A.) is a local entity (domiciled). Then you can just give a special power of attorney to a person who does have residency.
Ask your GoDutch real estate agent to help you connect your water bill or tell you how to transfer the existing water bill in your own name if you’d like to do so. Contact us now.
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I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Please remember the GoDutch Realty agents when you talk about your home in Costa Rica, we appreciate it.