Author Topic: Water?  (Read 3383 times)

cowboysgirlfriend

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Location: Bellingham, WA
    • My rambling blog
Water?
« on: September 29, 2014, 09:08:47 AM »
We rent a place out in the county and we have a well that serves the property. The water is really hard, stains everything brown, and whilst it's drinkable, it tastes pretty gnarly. Even the horses aren't that keen on it. I suffer from a health issue that means I need to drink a lot of water on a regular basis, and since I arrived here a few days ago, I didn't drink as much because of the bad taste, and of course made my condition worse.

I went to the gas station out of desperation and bought a case of bottled water for $5. I've spent the morning looking at options to get good water without spending a fortune. Do any of you have a water dispenser? Do you get water delivery? Do you just buy it at the supermarket? I've seen filter systems that work with a water dispenser so you can fill it up with tap water - but I've also read reviews that say the system doesn't work so well with really hard water.

I'm taking the view that good water is cheaper than a lot of medical bills (as I don't have insurance yet, new immigrant, yay), but I don't want to just spunk all my money and get ripped off.

Advice greatly appreciated.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10767
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Water?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2014, 09:26:56 AM »
For drinking water the cheapest short-term solution is to buy normal DI water (not bottled spring water, which costs more than gasoline!) - in many places you can get a gallon for under $1, and 5 gallons for under $3. Because it lacks all salts it doesn't taste quite as good as spring water, but since I normally toss a lemon wedge in my water it makes no difference to me.

Growing up we had very hard water from our well, and my father installed a water filteration and softener system.  No idea what the installation costs are but it softens the water in the entire house, and eliminates all those brown stains around faucets and sinks.  If you own your house I'd look into what installing one would cost.

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14036
  • Age: 38
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Water?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2014, 09:34:59 AM »
Is there actually anything wrong with the water, or is this purely paying more money to satisfy your delicate constitution?

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: Water?
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2014, 10:05:45 AM »
I would try Brita and other filtration systems first, maybe someone you know will let you borrow theirs to see if it would work.  Long term a system conditioner is probably what you need, but as a renter this might not be feasible.  I'd ask around to your neighbors and see what they've done if they have the same issue.

cowboysgirlfriend

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Location: Bellingham, WA
    • My rambling blog
Re: Water?
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2014, 10:32:43 AM »
Thanks for the tips about what water to buy and filtration options. Since we're renting and probably moving as soon as our lease is up next summer, installing a system on the house isn't an option. Our landlord wouldn't do it either. I will see what I can find for a filter system.

Greg

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1449
  • Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Re: Water?
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2014, 10:43:45 AM »
FWIW, my neighbor has pretty iron-rich water that sounds like yours.  He has a large filter on the supply line of the well, it's in the well house.  The kind that's about the size of a 2 liter bottle.  There are different filters that you can install inside that provide different effects.

I put 2 of the similar but smaller ones on my house (we built at about the same time) and change them when they look cruddy.  His housing is opaque so he is on a schedule, mine are clear so I do it by eye.  At first I used the fancy pant filters but they add up $$ wise.  Now I use the cheapest filters for the same effect, but my water is somehow not as irony as his, so mine is mostly for the fine sand that comes form the well.

cowboysgirlfriend

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Location: Bellingham, WA
    • My rambling blog
Re: Water?
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2014, 10:58:27 AM »
Thanks, Greg, that's useful information for us to think about when we come to buy a place. I think you're right, iron-rich sounds like it fits the bill, and a lot of the property we're looking at has well water. This is a new world for me, I've always been a city girl on city water.

AH013

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 272
Re: Water?
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2014, 04:27:40 PM »
Around here at the grocery stores, 1 gallon jugs of spring water run 2 for $1.  You could buy about 20 and keep the empties (let them completely dry out to kill any bacteria).  Then if you're headed somewhere where you know there will be good drinkable water, you could bring along some of your empties and fill 'em up.  In a cool dry place refilled jugs of standing water should be good for 5-7 days.  Refrigerated they should even last 2+ weeks.

If it's as brown as it sounds, I don't think a Brita is going to do the job or survive poorly processing more than 10-15 gallons.  And based on your other comments a whole house solution isn't in the cards for the short time you'll be there.

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1052
Re: Water?
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2014, 07:38:30 PM »
As an FYI, in some (many?) parts of the US (world?), a big and not-detectable -- without testing -- problem is arsenic in the water.  I've been researching this as we've recently bought land with a well (like yours, it is also icky and iron-y).  It's naturally occurring and flavorless.

If you're already steering clear of the water where you live now, no worries -- but down the road if you stay on well water and find nicer stuff, probably worth getting tested (at least where I live, arsenic testing in not required for existing wells, whereas other sorts of testing is when they change hands).

Generally, the levels are low enough that there's no immediate threat (no problem drinking if you're on vacation at a place with a well), but decent evidence that even VERY low levels of arsenic are bad for you if consumed over a long period of time.

We just take (good) city tap water out to our well-equipped (ha!) property, for now.  If we later decide to build/live out there we'll likely pay for a filtration system.