The ins and outs of living in Puerto Rico

Water and Sewer Service in Puerto Rico

A lot of people ask me how is the water and sewer service in Puerto Rico, if the water in Puerto Rico is safe to drink, also if we have “city water”. Well, the water and sewer service in Puerto Rico is just like any other place, we have “city water” in most areas and the quality of the water varies, but a simple filter or purifier should do.

The main company that provides water and sewer service in Puerto Rico is called “Autoridad de Acueductos y Alcantarillados” (AAA). It is run by the local government and it is as reliable as any other service anywhere else.

In the the 4 years I have lived here, water service has been interrupted only once, and that was to do some maintenance work on the main pipe close to where we live. The outage lasted about a day so it kind of sucked but even when Hurricane Irene affected us in 2011, the water service in Puerto Rico had almost no interruptions (can’t say that for the electricity though).

A few things I noticed was that the water in Puerto Rico never really gets very cold, that’s if you live in coastal areas; in the higher elevations especially in the winter months, the water gets VERY COLD. Another thing is that at least where we live, the water pressure could be better. I’m not sure if I always lived in areas with better-than-average water pressure, but where I live now, if you want to shower with decent pressure, don’t even think about having someone else showering at the same time in another bathroom, running the dishwasher, doing laundry, or even flush a toilet, because your water pressure will go down significantly.

Looking for a water heater? There are several options to heat the water in your home! You can of course get a tank water heater, but there are also “tank-less” water heaters that you turn on only when you need to use them, and there are also solar water heaters. Solar water heaters have been used here for many years, and because we have so much sunshine (even on days that it rains), this is a very popular alternative. Even if the power goes out, you can rest assured that you will have warm water to take a nice shower.

The AAA website is In it you can find all of the details regarding the water quality, your account, and many other things. However, the website is in Spanish. If you would like to access your account, you would have to go to “Mi Cuenta”.

The contact information is as follows:


Autoridad de Acueductos y Alcantarillados #604 Avenida Barbosa, Edif. Sergio Cuevas Bustamante San Juan, PR 00916

Mailing Address

Autordad de Acueductos y Alcantarillados PO Box 7066, San Juan, PR 00916-7066

Customer Service Phone Line 787-620-2482 or 1-877-411-2482 (Toll Free) 787-751-8125 (Hearing Impaired)

Like I mentioned above, water and sewer service in Puerto Rico is just as reliable as anywhere else. Cost is comparable to when I lived in the U.S., maybe a bit higher but not by much, and if you are concerned about drinking water, a simple filter or purifier should do the job just fine.

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  1. Is there running water in Vieques after hurricane maria?

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Right now there are many municipalities without running water, I am not sure about Vieques but you can call the local Emergency managers. What I do know is that restoration of running water is moving rather quickly.

  2. Hey. I am leaving puerto rico to return to my home country next week. I was wondering if i could still make payment online after termination? Would my termination of service also terminate my online account? I am the same question for the electricity as well.
    Can i use a foreign credit card to pay for both for my final bill?

    • Jay-Webmaster

      That question may be better to ask them, but I don’t know why you wouldn’t be able to make the last payment online. As long as your credit card is one of the ones accepted such as Visa, Master Card etc. You should be able to pay online.

  3. Hello Jay
    I own a vacation home in Ciales. I purchased it 2012, and have never had a problem with the Aqueductos Authority…until now. Since I only visit about every 3-4 months and stay approximately 10-15 days, my average monthly water bill never exceeds $15 for the 4 years I have owned my home. However in January 2017, I received a water bill for $340, and February for $340, for a grand total of $640. I requested an “investigation”. They recently concluded that the “investigation” is over and I owe $640. The investigator stated he did not notice anything out of the ordinary.
    There is nobody stealing water at my home. I feel helpless. What do you suggest I do.
    I am really upset.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Oh boy I’m so sorry to hear that! =(

      Really the only thing is to go to their offices and talk to someone higher up in the ranks. Have them remove those charges, you should be able to get that sorted out.

      • Actually, I contacted the Ombudsman office. They were extremely helpful. A certified letter was sent to AAA, requesting an administrative hearing. A week later I received a letter stating there was a mistake and the charges were removed….go figure

  4. So my water meter broke, and I am getting a half a gallon of water to my house a minute. on the plus side I get free water… but its been 2 weeks and the water company who has to forward replacements of water meters to some city engineers… never… respond… (the AAA responds and are shocked, the engineers… nothing)

    I’m having a cistern installed as I live in the rain forest. Puerto Rico is a good spot to be 100% self sufficient, the government is wearing its own small intestine as a hat, and their sphincter as a neck warmer.


    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello, and so sorry you have to deal with this! Well, if you feel it is a safety hazard (or it could become one) I would call the local emergency managers and have them take a look. If it’s just a nuisance and calling them has proved to be a waste of time, I would use social media to publicly complain. I would use Twitter and post a picture with a quick message saying that you’ve complained in the past with no action from AAA. Use the appropriate hashtags and male sure you say the location or post the complaint or ticket number they gave you when you filed the complaint.

      Social media is powerful here. I would do that, and if that doesn’t work either then I guess you’re going to have to go to the central offices and complain =(

  6. I have been trying for one week to resolve a problem my poor mother has been going through in Puerto Rico.
    Where she moved to from another location she didn’t have to pay for water no her new Place you do. Here’s the problem she went to put the services in her name of which she knew that she would have to pay for water. Here is what l don’t understand on her first bill they sent her a $272 water bill which is crazy it my mother and her husband only they are in their 80s…she left a deposit on the end of Sept and moved in on Oct 1st..on Nov. Of last year they sent her the first bill of as mentioned $272..she went to the office in ARECIBO to see if some one can explain to her how can that be for she uses very little water and washes clothes once a month..they informed her that the prior tenants owed that amount and since they left without paying that now my mom would be responsible for the bill they’re both on a fixed income how could that be that they were charged for someone else usage of water. I just recently found this out
    Well they told her if she doesn’t want to pay it then she won’t have any water this is an outrage they are very sick make a long story longer they put her on a payment plan for the bill that belonged to someone else she recently finished paying it in May of this year she never mentioned it to me till recently for they’re not doing well..Her brother went on her behalf to see what’s going on for her bill was still too high. They informed him that she will only have to pay from now on only $23. Per month but she still gets a high bill. She suspects that something is wrong within the property and would like someone to investigate the property its a 3 or 4 Family house and when brought up to the landlord she has gotten nowhere the electric and water needs to be checked..PLEASE HELP THEM THEY SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN MADE RESPONSIBLE FOR SOMEONE ELSE DEALT AND TO PLEASE SEND AN INVESTIGATOR..BY THE WAY THEY ARE VERY RUDE PEOPLE AND DISRESPECTFUL TO SENIORS..A CHANGE HAS TO BE MADE..

    • Jay-Webmaster

      I have heard of this before, that’s why they always say to make sure you know the debts from the previous owner are at zero balance. How do they get away with this? I don’t know, but it too happened to my sister and there was nothing she could do, frustrating to say the least.

    • Have her contract The American Civil Liberties Union Headquarters IN NEW YORK CITY. Termination or denying any person of fresh drinking water is a HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATION set forth by The United Nations. The City of Detroit was heavily sanctioned by the United Nations for termination of water service for non payment. Your parents will have to submit authorization for the ACLU to look into her account. Your mother can sue the AAA (Water Company) in FEDERAL COURT for Extortion. Their contact information is: The American Civil Liberties Union, National Headquarters,
      18 Broad Street, New York, NY 10004.
      212 549 2500. Tell your parents NOT TO CALL the Puerto Rico office of ACLU. They will get a snow job from them. National Headquarters will ORDER the Puerto Rico Office to contact your parents.
      Have someone go to The Federal Court Room 150 (Clerk’s Office) and pick up the Pro Se Litigants Handbook. Write their Civil Complaint and complete the fee waiver forms. List “The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico”, “The Autoridad de Acueducto, et. al.” as defendants. Her jurisdiction will be “A Federal Question 28 USC 1331” “VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS and EXTORTION UNDER COLOR OF LAW.” Damages in Excess of 5 FIVE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS.” Please include all AAA names and titles of employees she or you or anyone else contacted to resolve your parents problems with AAA. List them as defendants. Also add in your complaint caption after all names: “Entity and Entities known and Unknown, Singular and Plural, Private and Public and Corporate…”

  7. Hi! I bought a hse I Toa Alta ten years or longer. However, I have not lived in the house. I recently retire and moved in. When the water was set to install and after running ing around because forms have changed. The female supervisor I Arecibo branch was rude.. The emote was helpful and had the is taller reactivate the water meter. We were find as if we were stealing water.. I have proof of all the times I have been in Philly.

    Oh well, I moved I Jan. 22 2016. We were.placed in an installment plan. We were paying fairfully. I thi k I one I stall mentioned a number was wrong. I am not certain. But the point of the matter was that we receive one correspondence. My husband paid the bill I iquite and a women from the water department stated we were to have received a shut down notice. Never received. On 4/14,I water was shut off. We had to pay 1,700. To have it reindtalled. We paid early in the morning of the 15th. Until this day 4/18, my watwr has not been turned on. What can I do..The system sucks. I have never lived in PR. The people are rude and ignorant. Something needs to be done. Please help…

    • Jay-Webmaster


      I am sorry you are having a hard time with Acueductos, they are not known for their spectacular service, although I personally have never had problems with them and the times that I’ve needed them to get something done they’ve actually responded quite well.

      I hope you don’t mean that everyone in PR is ignorant and rude because that is simply not the case.

      Unfortunately there is not much I can do from here since Acueductos is its own company and everything needs to be done through them. I am sure something has been misunderstood on their end or something else has been going on, but it is something you have to clear up with them. Did you happen to ask for an estimated day of when the water will be back on? Sometimes that can take days for 2 reasons; 1) there is simply too much work already scheduled for several days and not enough employees to do it unless it is scheduled, and 2) it is known that it can take days and it is used as a deterrent for people to make sure they pay their water bill. I’m not saying that you didn’t pay on purpose, but sometimes people simply don’t pay it for whatever reason and they warn against this.

      Sorry to hear you are going through this.

      • I’m sorry to disagree with you. I receive all my mail at my Post Office Box. We don’t have physical mail service. I was receiving water bills for a church and another person at my P.O. Box. They (AAA) NEVER sent me my bill. I went several times only to meet the most rude and incompetent people on this planet. I went without water from June to February. Luckily I collected rain water to survive (I’m a retired Navy Veteran). Thanks to my New York City Civil Defense and Naval training and Mayaguez rainey season I survived by collecting rain water in blue 55 gallon drums. I filtered, boiled and used Colrox Bleach to purify my water. Finally I contacted the National Headquarters of The American Civil Liberties Union. My problems were resolved. I now have Puerto Rico in FEDERAL COURT for a United Nations Human Rights Violations for denying me Fresh Drinking Water.

  8. I live in Florida and am taking care of my mother who used to live in Caguas, P.R. We are trying to get the POC for getting the water service disconnected to her house since it is currently vacant. Very difficult to get someone on the phone or via email. Can you help. Very much appreciated.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Well, all you have to do is call Acueductos and get it set up. For Caguas you have to call 787-620-2482. Is that the number you called?

    • Call the Governor’s Office at 787 721 7000,
      They will put you in direct contact with AAA.

      If AAA bills your parents for any water after you requested termination of service. Take AAA to Federal Court in your state. Your jurisdiction will be “A Federal Question Title 28 USC 1331, Extortion of Vital Services and Title 28 USC 1332 Diversity of Citizenship.

  9. Good afternoon Jay,
    Can you tell me what the avg water pressure in a single family home in Puerto Rico is?

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Ryan!

      I honestly do not know what the average water pressure is. That may be a question to ask directly to “Acueductos” and I’m not even sure they’ll be able to answer because in all honesty, the water pressure is HIGHLY variable depending on the location.

      I have lived in several houses through my years in PR, they all have been in the San Juan metro. Some of the houses have got amazing water pressure and it was never an issue, other got decent pressure but if you did a few things at the same time you would notice a difference such as running the dishwasher and clothes washer while someone showers for example. However my current home, which is located in an older neighborhood, gets AWFUL water pressure, I’m talking that if someone washes their hands while you are showering you will definitely know someone is using water elsewhere, you can’t run the dishwasher or do laundry while you shower if you want decent water pressure.

      There doesn’t seem to be much correlation either, some of the houses I lived in were also in older neighborhoods and they got good water pressure. Proximity to water treatment facilities may play a role but I don’t know honestly how far I was (or am currently) from a water treatment facility to be honest. Some people say that the mountainous areas get lower pressure but I lived in a mountainous area for a few years and that house actually had the best water pressure of them all.

      So I really don’t know what the average pressure is, but it will likely be enough for what most people need. However it’s just one of those things where you have to ask Acueductos or the seller of the house if you are considering to buy a house, maybe even test it yourself.

      Hope that helps!

  10. Thank you for all the information. We are planing on moving to Puerto Rico in May of this year! I am very excited and I know what to expect. As I was raised there. I just hope to find a Job within 6 months. I am a nurse so I am hoping to find something. Thank you!! All of my questions you have answered with your web-site here.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      I’m so glad I helped you! Please let me know if you have any other questions!

    • If you are a nurse you can apply for employment at the Department of Veterans Affairs hospital and Outpatient Clinics throughout the Island. Go to usajobs or, type in nurse Puerto Rico. The pay is around Fourty Five Thousand Dollars a year. In the regular hospitals here the pay is a little above minimum wage.

  11. try to get water service back to my mother house in fajardo she is ill and in the state call customer service and was told only she can request a turn on i her daughter have to go to pr for personal business she will not be traveling with me due to her illness how can i get this resolve need water at house by the 29th of february 2016

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Yeah, unfortunately only the actual person has to ask for the service unless you are a legally appointed person allowed to do so. It happened to me with the electric bill and service. Maybe your mother can ask a neighbor for help? Is there anyone taking care of her? Usually those who assist elderly people can help with those errands.

    • When I first moved here, I sent to real estate broker a copy of my NY Drivers License and a money order for the deposit with a notarized letter authorizing his to have my water and electricity service on prior to my arrival which was two weeks later. Your mother can authorize someone to temporarily act in her behalf to have her utilities turned on.

  12. Relocating to Dorado Beach area of San Juan in early Feb. Trying to learn as much as possible before we get there. Concerning utilities, our rental agent has not been very accommodating so just wondering if I can get info on water, electricity and maybe a good company to deliver 5 gallon water bottles for home water dispenser. Wondering if once I contact utilities about how long will it take for them to turn water/electricity on at our rental home? don’t want to show up and have to wait 3 weeks for lights! Thanks so much for all the info—I am reading everything on this site.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Nancy!

      With regard of the 5-gallon delivery, let me get back to you on that one. I don’t know the name of the company that delivers the water to my office but I can check and let you know.

      As far as the electric and water companies and the service, I highly recommend you give them a call and set up the installation. When I set my electricity I had to give a $200 deposit. Do you know your address already? You can set up the new account online but I recommend you call them because some of the requisites for new service are rather dumb, but I think when they say “new service”, they mean a brand new electric installation and not a new account on a house that previously had electric service. I know I didn’t have to bring all those permits. I just called them at paid the deposit over the phone and that was really it. I think you should have to do something similar, but call them in advance of your arrival!

      Here’s the link with the details and the access to the online form (but again, I recommend a call):

      Same thing for water service. Your house already had it so I don’t think you need s new installation but rather an activation of service. So call them and get an account and give them you address etc. Get the service activated before you get there.

      Let me know if you need anything!

      • Jay, thanks for the info. I have called and am trying to jump through all the hoops they are asking for —a little more involved than I expected but still I’m happy to get the process started. Would LOVE the info on your water delivery company when you have a chance. That is a definite for this group from DAY 1 so I hope to have it set up by Feb. 1 when they arrive. Can’t wait to see this beautiful place and enjoy the PR life!!

        • Jay-Webmaster

          Hello Nancy! Sorry for the delay and thank you for reminding me!

          The guy that delivers water to the building I work in is called Abner. I don’t know him personally I just know that he is the guy that we have to contact when we are running low on water.

          His contact number is 787-459-2311

          Good Luck!!!

    • You will need to get the water and electric meter numbers too. The electricity will be turned on within 24 hours of paying the 100 dollar deposit. The Water service Take about 7 business days. Photo copy all bills and correspondence. Keep photo copies of your payment recipes.

  13. I am visiting my son who lives in Dorado. Our water has been out for two days and everyone in this gated community has very low water pressure. I placed a call to the water company this morning and found them to be very helpful when taking the report. Of course she said that she couldn’t give me a date that it might be fixed, but she was nice all the same. We can find an alternative solution or rent a hotel in another town if need be. The island is still beautiufl and I will still come here often even with the water problems. There are worse things that could happen for sure!


  15. Hello, I am a student that recently moved and set up utilities (electricity and water) that required deposits. Do you know if that is refunded when I cancel service?

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Stephanie:

      Yes, they are supposed to be refunded. It will take a few days but you should be getting a check at your new location.

      • Feeling very frustrated. My mother left PR to reside with me because she is ill. She left Sept. 17, 2015. That very same day I called to suspend her water service. They explained that she will have a credit coming to her. I had them speak with her and I related all the new information pertaining to her new address and telephone number and they were also informed that I was her primary caregiver. I have called them several times to follow up on her refund. Spoke to customer service and repeated all the information. They requested I email them a letter with her signature and ID and account number. I emailed that information three times to to no avail. They have not called or emailed me reqarding her refund. Today once again I called them and once again they asked all my information and requesting that I emailed them the letter and ID, so that they can follow through. It’s been almost nine month and I’m still dealing with this company. Is there any other suggestions that you can recommend that might help me get this issue handle in a timely matter. This is passed being timely. Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

        • Jay-Webmaster

          Oh I am so sorry to read this! =( Unfortunately this is not something I can help with. However, I did notice that the email address you sent the information to may be erroneous. is not correct, we don’t use “PH” in “Telephonico”, the correct way to write it is “Telefonico” with an “F” not PH”. So who knows if they even got the emails you sent them!

          Let me know if you get this sorted out! Good Luck!

        • Take them to Federal Court

  16. Tourism related people are always telling you that PR is just like any place in the US as far as amenities, AND IT IS NOT!!!
    As far as water, I have been in san juan for 5+ years, and the water has been shut off for from several hours to several days at least 10 times. The pressure often drops in advance which is a warning that some pipe is cracking somewhere.
    Once, the water was shut off for about a week. It was awful. You can’t use the toilet, take a shower, do laundry, cook, etc. They hide water trucks around where you can never find them, and then you are expected to bring large bottles to fill and lug home. It’s a little like being transported back a thousand years and going to the well to fetch buckets of water- but less picturesque.
    Don’t even try to call the water company. They usually don’t answer, but if the menu does come on and you choose “”wen” [1] for English, you often won’t get the English recording. But, if you do, and press 4 for water outage, you will wait 25 minutes for a service rep. If you don’t get disconnected while waiting, you will finally get a rep who doesn’t speak English. If you wait on hold for another 20 minutes or so, you will get a rep who will tell you in broken English that a pipe broke and they are working on it, but they have no further info, like if it will be fixed in this century.
    Don’t bother with the web site unless you know Spanish. [This is supposed to be a bi-lingual country, but IT IS DEFINITELY NOT.]
    [i’ve lived in kampala, kathmandu, and kabul, and the water was more reliable there, and they spoke more English.]

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Oh wow I really understand your frustration! Situations like the ones described would frustrate anyone! Here are a few things that might help anyone else either understand or deal with the situation. I’m not trying to start an argument, some of the idiosyncrasies of living here would frustrate and infuriate the best of us, but there are a few things that if understood would make some things more bearable. Thankfully though at least in my case, I have not had that many water service interruptions! I do remember though back in 1994 we had such a severe drought that we only had water service for 12 hours then 36 hours without water service, and that went on for months, it was pretty bad. But look at the following points, maybe they will help you and the rest of the people who read this.

      -This is NOT the US. Some things are different, some things are better some things are not. I’ve always said to not expect Puerto Rico to be the US, because it is not. If you move here wanting it to be like the US you will be severely disappointed.

      -This is not a 100% bilingual island and it is not meant nor required to be. Spanish is the first language and English is taught as a second language. Some people speak English, other do not. I always stress that it is incredibly important to learn at least basic Spanish before coming here, much like I would learn at least basic English before moving to the US or French if I were to move to France etc.

      -Pressing “WEN” [1] (sic) for English may or may not get you someone on the line who speaks English. The incredibly low volume of English calls those places get may not be worth paying someone extra for knowing English, so they may or may not have someone on shift to take the few English calls. I know this from personal experience in a call center and also by having family members in high executive levels of major US based companies with offices in Puerto Rico. Oh and you have to wait long periods of time because like you, there are many many other people calling.

      -The people on the phone normally do not have more information to give you, sometimes the people working the situation do not know exactly when something will be done, it will get done when it’s done, sometimes there is an opportunity to do some sort of upgrade or improvement as opposed to just repairing the broken pipe, so if it means an extra day without service to perform a major upgrade, they will likely do it. I guarantee you this though, it will likely be fixed in this century 😉

      -There are MANY reasons why there are water service interruptions and also why water pipes break. Some of those reasons include tropical cyclones, age of the pipes or even seismic activity. In case you didn’t know, we have a very active seismic activity, usually not strong enough for us to feel it although sometimes it is. Well, after thousands of small little earthquakes, something underground may give and cause a pipe to burst in a weak area.

      -Location of the available “oases” are normally announced in the news, which of course are in Spanish but they are usually in the same place, so whenever they have those you know where to go next time. Yes you have to carry the free water back to your place, sometimes though they drive around and stop when someone flags them down for water. Personally, I always keep bottled water for drinking and keep a clean plastic garbage can for when the water truck drives by they can fill it up.

      -Their website is in Spanish, which is to be expected. So like I’ve mentioned in other posts, if you use the Google Chrome browser, you can use their “translate” tool which normally pops up in the upper right hand corner of the browser, and translate the page to English. It does a decent job, not perfect though.

      Just like any place in the world, there are good things and bad things. I know Puerto Rico is far from perfect and many things could be a lot better. However I try to take the good with the bad. Understanding why things happen or can happen has helped my stress level tremendously. I really understand your frustration and anger, but I hope what I just mentioned helps you a little.

      Take Care!

  17. 25 water utility veteran specializing in water loss management. Interested in a contact concerning a job with the water utility. Tried the website but couldn’t find an english version. Any ideas?

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Hello Geoffrey! Unfortunately they don’t have an English version of the website. The only thing that comes to mind is to use the Google Chrome browser and translate the website from Spanish to English by pressing the translate button on the right end of the address bar.

      Hope this helps! =)

  18. I live in san juan, and the water goes out frequently. I would estimate 6x/yr. Usually, it doesn’t last for more than a day, but at least once a year, it goes out for 4-6 days. PR has terrible infrastructure. The electricity goes out pretty often, too.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      Thank you for your comment.

      Unfortunately, some people do experience more than desired power outages and water service interruptions. I must be very lucky because I have actually experienced only one water service interruption and as far as power outages, I’ve experienced several, but in most cases it was due to a strong thunderstorm or when a tropical storm or hurricane affected the island, and I can certainly understand why the outage.

      I don’t know where in San Juan you live but I assure you that it is not the same everywhere. I’m sorry you feel that our infrastructure is terrible.

  19. I remember the first time I visited PR- and went to a restaurant, The waiter asked what I wanted to drink and I said water. He asked me ‘bottled’? or Puerto Rico water? I envisioned the PR to be something hauled in from some hidden aquifer from the rain forest or something. Nope- PR water = tap water. The Mofongo, was excellent though. The other thing I noticed, and it could be because electricity is expensive is that a few bars I went in, when I ordered a beer- they pulled one out of a cooler filled with ice.

    • Jay-Webmaster

      I still get asked if I want bottled water or tap water. Lots of restaurants use the “PR Water” tactic because many tourists are afraid to “drink the water”, that way they make money by selling you the water bottle. I have never opted for the bottled water over tap water.

      And yes the electricity is very expensive so a lot of places do store the bottles and cans in coolers with ice.

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