So I have an AVEDA t-shirt that says EVERY 15 SECONDS A CHILD DIES DUE TO LACK OF CLEAN WATER. Disturbing, no?
You know what else is disturbing? A guy came to our house today to analyze our drinking water and made a glass from the tap look like Nigerian well water. Wow. Gross. It was rather unnerving to see all of the minerals, chlorine and sediments that are in the water coming out of our pipes. So unnerving, in fact, that I might be brushing my teeth with Culligan water tonight.
Seriously though, despite the hidden grossness, I count myself extraordinarily lucky that my water is as clean as it is. I mean the odds of me getting giardia from drinking my city water are infinitesimal and that is something I quite appreciate. However, eww. All the sediments and minerals and icky floaties this guy showed us in our water gave me the creeps. No wonder our water tastes like crap! No wonder it takes me a handful of shampoo to wash my hair! I was seriously considering investing in a combination softening/filtration system to clean and soften all of the water that we use in the house.
But is it worth it?
The salesman that came to conduct the test was (of course) also peddling the solution to our every water quality problem: a whole-house water purification system. It cost more than my car. However it is said to extend the life of water-loving appliances, like the dishwasher and clothes washer, as well as cut our costs on cleaning and soap consumption, as well as make our daily personal hygiene practices and household cleaning tasks "green", which simply means it would make biodegradable soap and cleaning products their most effective. It all sounded good. But I noticed our salesman/mad scientist had a few tricks up his sleeve. For example, when testing our water's hardness, he used the hottest water from the tap in order to ensure his sample contained sediments from our ancient gas water heater. I thought that was funny at the time, but now I'm really curious- how hard is the cold water that we use for 90% of what requires water, like cooking and clothes washing? I should have asked!
Alas! Amidst the noise of rushing water and clanking beakers, I was whisked away to Clean Water Land. Dr. Salesman had us wash our hands, one hand in the purified water and one hand in our icky water. I fell in love with the softness of my left hand, and discovered a fresh hatred for tap water due to the gritty feeling it left on my right one. He tested two glasses of water, one which was straight from the tap, and another glass of tap water which he'd had Jason swish his fingers around in. The tap water contained chlorine; the finger water did not- proof of how human skin absorbs toxic chlorine every time you shower, wash your hands, or wash your face! Save us, Dr. Salesman! He then went on to prove, through a series of simple tests, how poor a rinsing agent hard water is, how abrasive it is to clothing in the wash, and how much money we "poured down the drain" by using too much soap to compensate for our hard water, among other things. "This unit will pay for itself in just a few years! Think of your health!"
This company, which is endorsed by a major home improvement store, seems rather reputable. The water tasted good and felt luxurious compared to the gritty city water we drink and (attempt to) lather up in daily. But I'm torn. Is $5,000 (around $75- $100 per month for 5 years) a reasonable price for *better* water? Or am I just being lavish with myself? I mean, there are people in the world who contract unspeakable illnesses from their drinking water, and I'm concerned about the ~luxurious feel~ of mine?