Sunday, April 1, 2012

Time to Make the Water


Remember that Dunkin Donuts commercial where the guy would stumble into the bakery in the wee hours to start making the donuts so they would be fresh for the morning rush? It was time to make the donuts…Now picture me in my bathrobe, hair askew, teeth unbrushed, moving zombie like on weekend mornings because it was time to make the water…
I know folks claim that NYC’s water is the “best tasting” water in the nation. Maybe by some standards it is but that does not mean that it is healthy for you. I’m not a water expert, but 10 years ago we had our NYC water tested in a lab and found it that our water sample, collected directly from our kitchen tap, contained fecal contamination. Yes, we were drinking, cooking and brushing our teeth with poop. Plus, our NYC city water contains chlorine which, sorry, has been shown to be carcinogenic, and fluoride which still generates serious controversy over its safety. 
So, we set up a powerful water filter in our back kitchen and every weekend we would hook up the filter hose to an empty glass gallon jug and make water. Making water this way is a slow process that reminds me of old movies about Chinese Water Torture. The filtered water drips drop by drop into the gallon jug. On a good day, we could make a gallon in 2-3 hours. On a day with low water pressure and when the water needs more filtering, it could take 6 hours to make a gallon. Since we would use this water for all our personal and cooking needs, we needed 12 gallons of water to get through the week so our weekends revolved around watching the water and being ready to switch in the next gallon jug just before the first one overflows. 



Sure, we could have just purchased gallons of spring water every week but even when you recycle, all that packaging is still wasteful and plastic bottles leech chemicals into the water. I tried ordering glass gallon bottled water from Mountain Valley Water service who would deliver weekly, but then I couldn’t handle the carbon offset guilt of personally trucking in my water. So making my own water was the greenest and best solution. 
When you work that hard at something day in and day out, you can grow attached to it and so there was born my little water obsession. By Sunday night, I would have 6 gallons ready to drink above the refrigerator, 2 gallons in glass water pitchers keeping cold in the fridge, 6 gallons stored in a special portable kitchen cabinet I bought at Bed, Bath and Beyond just for this purpose, and in case of an emergency, I had 12 half gallons in 2 crates in the hall closet left over from our Mountain Valley Water days.
Is this all worth it? I asked that question a lot as my water adventures started to flood my brain. The no-brainer was that I only wanted to cook and drink with clean water in the greenest way possible. But surely there was a better way. So we invested in a reverse osmosis water filter that is built into the kitchen sink and has its own separate faucet. It lives under the sink, constantly makes water and can theoretically produce up to 35 gallons in a single day. Voila! Somebody took my weekend job! 
Now months later, I still marvel at how I can simply walk up to the kitchen sink with a glass in hand and pour myself a fresh glass of water. It takes me back in time to the days of yesteryear before we knew that virtually everything around us is toxic and damaging the environment. It brings me hope for the future that we can find more ways to live green without having to change our lifestyle radically. Yet old habits die hard…this weekend, I was cleaning out the guest room closet and found another 24 gallons of crated water that I must have been saving, just in case…


Post a Comment