What a boring subject, huh?

I’ve known since we moved to the Possum Kingdom that our water here is harder than what we had in L.A.. To be honest, I was shocked, because our water there was super hard. But here, the dog’s stainless steel bowls were covered in lime scale after having water in them for just a few days. Our tea kettle had to be boiled with vinegar or lemon juice almost every week and I don’t even want to think about the state of our pipes.

Our wonderful plumber, Christian Drouin, put in an cartridge that doesn’t actually soften the water (softened water isn’t good to drink) but which has resin in it that keeps the scale hardening in the same way (I must admit that I don’t have the explanation of how it works all that clearly in my head). That does help to a certain extent.

But, since last summer I’ve noticed another problem with the water. It often smells and tastes very, very strongly of chlorine. My guess is that the water purifying plant has made some changes. Certainly it’s something that is worse after a lot of rain, so I imagine they increase the chlorine content after storms. Besides the smell, my skin always felt itchy and “tight” after taking a shower and even using creams and lotions didn’t seem to really help.

Far worse, I noticed a phenomenon with Shmoo that I had forgotten about. I had first noticed it with the late, great, Taffy-Jerome when we originally fed him in plastic dishes, then later after we moved from Rancho Palos Verdes to Reseda: his black nose started to lose it’s color, then his lips turned pink instead of black. Now, Shmoo’s nose was going from black to beige. The Taffy experience had been so long ago that I didn’t remember it at first, but this past spring it came back to mind. Clearly, Shmoo was reacting to the chlorine in the water.

I know it sounds odd, but it is a known phenomenon, although it usually is associated with the use of plastc dishes. My first line of defense was to buy a Brita filter to put on the kitchen tap and to only give Shmoo water that came out of that tap. Within 2 weeks the color had started to return to his nose.

I decided to talk to Christian and see if we couldn’t put something on the whole house to improve the water for all the sinks and showers. For less than 100 euros we were able to add an extra filter cartridge to the system that we already had that would run ALL the household water through an activated charcoal filter. We noticed the effects immediately.

First, people have started to comment on how good my coffee and tea are! I suppose it makes sense, any food that relies on mostly water to exist is going to be profoundly affected by the quality of that water. I certainly have noticed over the years that when I make bread it has a different taste depending on the water and flour that I use.

Second, my skin no longer feels uncomfortable after showering and my hair is softer, silkier and shinier, and it stays cleaner for a longer time. I don’t have to use any conditioning products on it either.

Third, the tea kettle doesn’t have to be descaled. I’m assuming that my coffee maker will last longer as well, not to mention the hot water heater and all the rest of the pipes in the house.

But, best of all, Shmoo’s nose has almost regained all it’s color. It’s not totally black yet, but I’m hoping it will be by the end of summer.

Water; we need to pay more attention to it.

Ciao for now.


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6 thoughts on “Water

  1. Wow. New design looks amazing; will take some getting used to .

    I agree completely about the chlorine in the water too. Our local water utility is using chloramine-form stuff, that stays in the water, rather than vaporing off/out, the way chlorine in gas form does.

    We have filters on all the drinking water, and the shower, too. The kiddo, now almost 17, used to get skin rashes from his baths and swimming lessons until we figured out what it was — chlorine sensitivity! He’s outgrown the red-rash effect, but still has a sort of fine pebble-y texture on his back; his father says it may be allergy-related exzema that he may never outgrow(!).

    We also have to add chemicals to the water-feature pond so the chloramine doesn’t build up and kill our giambuja (mosquito control mini fishies). Here, they over-chlorinate during the summer, when water flow is slower; also when there’s construction in an area, and if you’re downstream of the construction, wonderfulness.

    Do you have any idea (yet) how long your filters will last? How often they’ll have to be replaced, that is. Our shower-head filters last about 6 months, but the kitchen tap ones are more like 3 months.

    • Thanks for the comment.

      The filter said it should be replaced every 2 months, which, if you consider that the cartridge is at the water input, so ALL the water in the house is going through it, does make sense. That’s the schedule I want to stick to, even if it’s overkill. I’d rather change it too frequently than not enough.

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