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Ecuador - Utilities

There have been great improvements over the last few years in the supply of water services. Not all homes are connected to mains water, though if you are in an urban area then you will find that around 92% of homes now have a connection. This number drops to around 50% in rural areas. There are similar figures for sanitation services and there are several programmes in operation to deal with this issue.

The quality of water that is received in homes in Ecuador is quite low and it is recommended that you do not drink the tap water. Bottled water is readily available in most stores and you will find that if you are in a rural area there is no treatment at all of tap water, so it is really unsafe to drink.

The systems in place for the supply of tap water and removal of waste water are also very old, particularly in rural areas and many are awaiting repair. One of the problems is the service is not overseen properly by the government and a clear responsibility for dealing with the issues has not been given to any one organisation or department. In the cities the municipal authorities are directly responsible for the services provided and some of these have been passed to private companies. Rural areas have their own Water Boards, but most do not do the work that is expected of them.

Electricity in Ecuador runs in most areas on a 110 volt system. However, you will find that it is not uniform across the country and the types of sockets that you will encounter may mean that you need more than one type of adaptor. The supply of electricity is also not constant and regular power cuts occur. If you are in a remote rural area you can be days without any electricity. There are plans to import more electricity from Colombia and Peru to help to deal with these shortages.

A company called Transelectric is responsible for the supply of electricity to the Ecuadorian people. This company is state owned and attempts to privatise the industry have failed so far.

The country has a number of large gas reserves although there is no demand for gas to be used domestically. The gas reserves are used to power the electricity plants and all homes will run solely on electricity.

Connecting to these services is relatively easy. Your estate agent will be able to help you, although it is just a case of contacting the company with your details. You may have to pay a deposit, although this will depend upon the provider and the area that you are in.

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