Monday, January 17, 2011

The Water Debate

Haier WDNSC145 Convertible Freestanding Full-Size/Tabletop Water DispenserI have been buying water in bulk for probably about a decade. I originally purchased a water dispenser that would dispense cold, tepid, and hot water on demand. It was awesome to have those choices! Plus, we had 5 gallon bottles of water delivered; terribly convenient! Then my dispenser leaked the entire contents of a bottle onto my floor. What a mess! Dispensers are not cheap, but it was a (home) business expense, so I bought a replacement dispenser. I've since "gone out of business" and as far as I know, my ex-husband is still using that dispenser. I still see 5 gallon bottles on the porch when I take our daughter back there.

When I got my own place, I contacted my water supplier and rented a water dispenser. I also learned something from them: the big leak was likely a faulty leak on the bottle. They should tell people that in advance! I can not believe I replaced the entire dispenser! The major benefit of renting the unit is that if something goes wrong with it, they replace it. In fact, they offer to clean it annually which really means they bring you a new one anyway.

Brita 42629 Slim PitcherIn our plans to hit the road, it occurred to me that I would not be able to travel with a water dispenser. They take too much room anyway, for such a small space. So I began searching for an alternative. Then one day it hit me: filtration pitchers! I don't know why I hadn't thought of it sooner! In a very timely manner, I found a deal through The Money Saving Queen! The coupon offered a $5 discount on Brita Pitchers. There is also a rebate, but it is on the more expensive pitchers and I went with the cheap one (two of them).

Now I've stumbled upon another issue: Pitchers don't filter out fluoride. I don't like that at all, but haven't yet come up with another viable option. I don't want to purchase bottled water for so many ecological and economical reasons. I also don't want to keep giving my daughter fluoride in our water, though that seems the lesser of the evils. I just need to make sure I'm not using fluoride products on her teeth in addition to that.

For now, we'll stick with the pitchers. I think that will be the best plan for hitting the road and it has already saved us a bundle! I was spending about $25-30 per month on water (more in the Summer) and I've spent nothing after the $4 initial purchase! I currently re-use plastic bottles for a couple of months and then replace them, but I plan to get one or two good quality metal ones.

How do you deal with water in your home? How do you feel about the chemicals the government adds to our water? Do you have a metal water can you love and could recommend to me?

4 comments:

  1. I wish we had a water dispenser. I miss ours. And buying 'good' water seems like such a great idea. Its on my lists of things to do as soon as I can afford it.

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  2. I just can not handle tap water, it tastes so nasty to me and never-mind the overwhelming odor of chlorine! Ew!

    I love Spring Water, but the water from the Brita filters has been just fine. With two pitchers, I rotate them out (often!). That way I always have cold water available. (Funny because I don't mind drinking tepid water.) You could probably do the same with 2 pitchers, you'd just need larger ones! Those coupons I linked are probably still good!

    Also, if I'm cooking or even making tea I don't feel the need to use filtered water. I can't taste it if I cook it.

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  3. We have a water dispenser in our fridge, but we've never changed the filter... also, we live out here and the water is actually pretty good. That being said, I boil nearly all of my water anyway, as I drink mostly (very weak) herbal teas. I fill my big water bottle at the gym from their filtered water.

    I can't keep up with the expense of the filtered water atm. 6 people who ONLY drink water or tea... yeah, not in my budget. Sprite goes through a couple of gallons a day, but she buys her own bottled water.

    We did use the Brita filter when we lived on the road because you jut never knew what the water was going to be like!

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  4. We just drink the tap water. We get water safety reports every year from the city, and I've been satisfied with the cleanliness and the taste. For awhile, we weren't using fluoride products otherwise, but I had been thinking we might want to filter that out. It's kind of complicated to filter fluoride, though. As far as chlorine goes, if you don't like the taste/smell, you can actually just leave your water sitting for 24 hours for the chlorine to evaporate out. We had a Brita pitcher like yours when we lived in Indiana and the water didn't taste as good, but I kept forgetting to change the filter — whoops!

    The place we moved into has an under-sink filtration system built in, which I used for a little bit — until I just got too bored. It's soooo slow. It dribbles out little by little, so even filling a cup is tedious, much less a water bottle or pitcher. Plus, it's not as cold as fridged water.

    For water bottles, are you talking individual drinking bottles or a pitcher? We got some inexpensive glass pitchers from Bed Bath & Beyond that don't take up much space in the fridge, which you could use for overflow from your Brita pitchers so you can start a new batch. For individual bottles, I like the CamelBak Insulated Stainless Steel Better Bottle (that was a mouthful!), because it keeps the water so cold for hours, with no sweating onto your hands or the surface you put it down on. You can also fit regular size ice cubes inside if you want your water even colder. A downside is it's only 0.5-liter, so you have to refill it more often. There are also kid-size stainless bottles (not insulated, I don't think) from Camelbak and Klean Kanteen if you ever want a smaller version for your little one. KK even has sippy-cup attachments, though Mikko's done fine with the standard ones.

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