Monday, October 24, 2011

Water systems in Oman

Modern water systems for residential units normally include a plastic water tank mounted on the roof which provides water for the house or flat. The water is either piped in or the tank must be filled each week or so by trucked-in water. There are several "tricks" to learn about the system. Refrigerated tank water is rare, so during the summer the water in the tank becomes extremely hot due to the external temperatures. This is the water which flows to the showers, sinks and toilets. 
Water tank
      Therefore, it is common for residents to turn off their hot water heaters during the summer and use the hot/cold water spigots in reverse. The "hot" water is now cooler because it rests in the hot water heater tank in the cool indoors while the outdoor tank provides the hot water naturally heated by the sun. Also, it is important to keep up with the water level in the case of having to call the "water man" before the supply is completely diminished and one is left with no household water.

      Generally, people do not drink "tap" water, but buy bottles or have spring water delivered in five gallon drums that fit into a water machine. The tap water is safe as far I as know.
Omani Falaj
The ancient type of water system is called "afalaj." which was used in most villages throughout Oman providing water for irrigation and for personal use. Afalaj water comes from wells, underground water reserves and mountain water and is channeled down to villages through small canal like structures. Some afalaj carry warm water.

Omani Falaj

Roof tops with water tank

Omani roof tops in Batinah region

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