Growing up in southern California tap water was never much of an option. First off it is always a substantial drought down there so that puts a cap on household water use all together. Not much is allowed to be ‘wasted’ on watering flowers or lawns, which in a desert can be a bit of an issue. Everyone drank bottled water and carried strong opinions over brands. A few people had those water filters strapped onto their kitchen sinks but those weren’t the most useful if you weren’t suppose to be using your home water lines anyway. So when I moved to Oregon and learned that not only is regular tap water safe but also sometimes even better than the bottled alternative I was stunned. I couldn’t believe how much more logical it all seemed, not needing to waist resources on the whole bottled water enterprise. I would never need to buy another bottle of water to keep in the fridge again!
Okay I’ll admit it though, after seven years here I have become spoiled and while I’m still not much a fan of bottled water I’ve found that even Oregon tap water can be improved upon depending on where it comes from. I caved and bought a water filter pitcher to keep in our fridge. This was probably one of the better adult decisions that I have made in my life.
First of all, yes the water does taste significantly better filtered than straight from the tap. I still hold that water in general tastes better outside of California, or any other heavily populated area for that matter, but I love my water filter. I fill my dogs bowls from the filtered water container too usually and they seem to appreciate it. The filtered stuff is always lapped up more quickly than otherwise. I think this is the surest indicator that a water filter is indeed a wise investment. Even using filtered water in a cup’o’noodles or a pot of coffee livens the flavors a bit. I guess I could just be jumping on the health conscious bandwagon but purer water and fresher more local food really does seem to make me more productive.
Also though, having a pitcher of cold and available water every day has greatly increased my personal water consumption. Whenever I open the fridge now in search of a drink it’s the first thing I see and so I wind up drinking water far more than I use to.
I decided to do a bit of research on water filters. Different types of filters take out different types and amounts of things from the water, and the removal of all these substances can benefit more than just the water you drink. It can also do good for your skin washing your hands in the sink, or hair washing in the shower. Basic water filters typically take out fluoride and sediment from water pipes but people who get themselves under facet water filters are typically also looking to extract chlorine, arsenic, chloride, copper, iron, lead, mercury 2, sodium and even more. That’s right, arsenic and mercury. In this cold and gunked up world I suppose we can’t be too careful, although my skeptical mind does tend to wonder how many chemicals need to be filtered from our water as a direct result of us building and polluting with the factories we’ve built to create these filters in the first place. Better safe than sorry though I suppose.
It’s amazing the things that the human mind can come up with when their basic human needs are met, I feel so lucky to live in a place where water pollution can be tested and checked for so that it isn’t an immediate threat to my livelihood. The more heavily populated areas, such as Portland or down town Eugene, even offer clean water drinking from fountains scattered all around. This way the homeless or anyone else about the city without a water bottle on them has access to proper hydration.