Tap Water Chronicles

Valencia's tea-colored tap water, now with more aluminum!
Valencia’s tap water, now with more aluminum!

The people of Valencia have been drinking water with elevated levels of aluminum for the last 29 months now. Aluminum in drinking water has been linked with nerve damage, leading to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

But that’s not the only thing found in the water: in recent years, stuff like platinum, cobalt, iron, plankton and cyanobacterias has been found in local reservoirs, according to leaked data from the provider, Hidrocentro.

This situation could be replicated in the capital, as the main source of water (La Mariposa reservoir) is facing illegal squatters and animal leftovers from witchcraft rituals. Still, this issue takes a backseat, as water itself has been scarce in some parts of Caracas for quite some time.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. Gustavo, I think the serious problems with water pollution in Valencia and most of Carabobo started earlier. In 2006-2007, Chavistas diverted the water from the Valencia Lake towards the Pao reservoir. The Valencia Lake is highly polluted. They “completed” a water cleaning plant in Los Guayos, but this water plant is not working properly and it is already too small for the amount of liquid it needs to process.

    They add huge amounts of chlorine to kill the bacteria – most of the time – but a lot of evil material gets in. Control of sewage has completely collapsed, this has been made worse with the proliferation of slums in such areas as Los Guayos, which is now a completely urban-marginal area, the densest municipality in Carabobo and one where the opposition hardly penetrates even if it is so close to the Panamericana.

    There are new slums around the Pao-Cachinche reservoir as well and the waters get into there.
    One of the largest landfills of Venezuela like close by and there all the worst rubbish of the State gets dumped using methods from the Middle Ages.

    Everyone in Carabobo who can afford it now buys water from lorries or has special filters (hard to find). The poor try to boil the water but that does not take away the non organic poisons.

    I wrote something about this three years ago:

    • kepler, you are absolutely right, my father and I used to go fishing in the pao-cachinche reservoir, wich is about 45 minutes away from valencia, in the late 90s, around the early 2000s it became imposible to fish there, the boat got a thick mud-like (similar to sh*t) layer around it after you put it in the water, and you could not get any fish, and it is not only the valencia lake contaminated water that they pumped to cachinche, the pork farms that exists around the reservoir dump their waste in the reservoir as well, y de ñapa, the water purifying facilities for the gran valencia area hasn’t been upgraded in like 30 years, they simply can’t handle the volume of water the city needs. I recommend this facebook page for anyone living in the valencia area https://www.facebook.com/AguaVenezuela?fref=ts

  2. “as the main source of water (La Mariposa reservoir) is facing illegal squatters and animal leftovers from witchcraft rituals.” Wait, what?

    • We are Congolizing and Otomacosizing ourselves more and more by the day.
      Cuban Santería is yet another consequence of our ties with the Caribbean “commies”.

      • The witchcraft rituals and animal sacrifices in la Mariposa have been taking place for several years now, they are related to the cult of María Lionza. Around 2007, my brother was in journalism school and did a piece on this for a class, went to la Mariposa and came back traumatized after watching the animal sacrifices. Thus, this has been happening since at least 6 years ago.

      • But could there possibly be THAT many animal sacrifices that they are affecting the water supply?

        Amazing how some people are living in the 19th century.

        • Somewhere in my 2010 Venezuela photos I have pictures of signs I saw at some of the off the beaten track spots near Valencia my cuñado took us to that read: “brujería prohibida”.
          I figure if someone had to go so far as post a sign…

  3. I live in Valencia and since last year I have been buying my water, I used to treat my drinking water with a pill to purify it but when all this discussion started, I began to buy it. But the point is that it has got worse. The color of water is like tea, most of the time it makes no sense to wash your white clothes because the end up looking in a brownish way. While we’re still talking about this, there is no official recognizement of the problem, as if it does not exist. That’s how everything goes around here.

    • Do you know where the water you buy comes from? Have you had it tested to make sure it’s not the same stuff, conventially filtered but mostly just cosmetically cleaned up?

        • If you can afford it, your best bet is to purchase a ceramic filter and also an ozone “filter” (which is not really a filter, but that’s how they call them in Venezuela. The ceramic filter will remove solids and the ozone will oxidize (kill or get rid of) bacteria, virii (viruses), organic compounds which are harmful and cause foul taste, colors, and odors, and almost everything else. Ozone is very reactive, so in order to prevent re-contamination you may want to add a small dosage of chlorine to the water after its use.

          Other popular solutions include the use of activated carbon (charcoal) to remove organics and UV-light “filters” to eliminate bacteria or viruses. Finally, bleach is a low-cost solution which can also be used if you know how much to add to water. A simple pool chemistry kit is very useful in this case.

    • María Isabel, pero ¡qué muker tan fina eres tú! Mi tía compara el color del agua de Hidrocentro revolucionario no al “te” sino a otra cosa.

  4. This is a sad commentary, a case of de-development. Kudos to Gustavo, Kepler, Maripuerta, Moses etc. for local insights and links. Where are the PSF to comment on this? Arturo? Shame? GetaClue/Chris Carlson? CortGreene?

  5. And bear in mind: the problem is not just the Lake. Heavy pollution in the Lake started in the sixties of last century but people were not drinking water from there. Pollution there is now much worse with all kinds of pipelines going into the Lake without control. I know from first sources people in charge of giving permits for new construction around the area have been threatened unless they give the green light.

    – Uncontrolled slum expansion has worsened both around the Lake and around the Pao-Cachinche (squatters, some of them on a very professional basis, not only do they occupy other people’s land or state land and “resell”, but they lead thousands of others to do so)
    – the government took the incredibly stupid decision to divert water from the Lake to Cachinche-Pao
    – the water cleaning plants like the one in Los Guayos have collapsed and the rojo-rojito Hidrocentro managing them is completely incompetent
    – the Guásima landfill, one of the largest in Venezuela, has become a major environmental disaster affecting not only the people living in the municipality but the quality of water departing from there to…surprise, surprise: the lowest part of the basin, which goes to the Valencia Lake.

    Carabobo’s coast, which is cut off from the Valencia Lake basin by the mountains of the Litoral, has its own pollution issues…caused by the refinery of El Palito and just uncontrolled sewage from all the new slums in those areas.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here