No. 32 – All About Water Filtration

After watching the flood in New Orleans and the government’s inability to get all those people clean water to drink for several days (and later learning that even the water they DID get wasn’t all that safe to drink) my wife and I realized that if the crap hits the fan, we’re on our own.

Couple this with the 2008 Great Financial Crisis and we were pretty solidly converted into ‘Preppers’ for like a year.  We stocked food, ammo, bought books on how to garden, heirloom seeds, all that action. We did not build a bunker, which seems to be all the rage now.  Not that we wouldn’t have if we could have afforded it.  Bunkers are for the more ‘affluent’ preppers.

But now we’ve moved to Canada where we can rely on socialism to help us after the world system collapses!

Seriously though, it was a phase we went through and now we have a bunch of random baggage, like our new relationship with water.  It all started with water after all.

Stage One – Distilled Water (in gallon jugs from the grocery store)

This is especially fun to do, just because nothing gets attention like a bearded guy clearing the shelves of water.  Suddenly everyone around you is thinking to themselves, “What does this guy know that I don’t know?”  If I owned a water store, I would just pay people to pretend to shop for water and try and get a run on water going.  Every day.

Scary bit with buying water every week?  You become VERY aware of the price of water.  In just a year we watched it double.

Scary.

Finally though we realized that distilled water is actually bad for you, lacking in minerals that your body kinda doesn’t get any other way.  Thanks Internet!

Stage Two – Berkey Water Filter

Something like 200 years ago, the Queen of England (Victoria?) commissioned that a portable filtration system be set up for missionaries, mainly so they’d quit getting the runs and dying from dehydration.  All you do is dump water in the top and out drips clean water.  We used this thing for YEARS.  We had it all along for emergencies (Read: Apocalypse) but never used it because we were doing the distilled thing.  When we switched we realized we could just use the Berkey.

Having this thing in your kitchen is awesome, great conversational piece with dinner guests.  I was always sure to mention that you could urinate into the top and clean water would come out the bottom.

I also left it somewhat ambiguous as to whether I had tested this out already.

Stage Three – Reverse Osmosis System*

More recently we moved to an area that uses fluoride in the public water system.  So far we had been lucky to live in two of the only cities in North America that have resisted the urge to pour toxic industrial byproducts into our drinking water.  MAYBE if we were all just using the tap to swish and spit once a day this would make sense.  But because we actually have the audacity to DRINK the tap water (eight glasses a day, right?) then we’re getting fluoride into places that it isn’t doing any good (anywhere in your body but on your teeth, abd even that is questionable).  Moreover, shortly after we moved, we saw white spots forming on our kid’s teeth from over fluoridation.  Your kids have those?  Yeah that’s what that is, it’s a bad sign.

So my wife used the white spots as ‘Exhibit A’ in order for me to spring for a Reverse Osmosis system.  We could have bought new (different) filters for our Berkey but for a bit more we’d have a  system that didn’t require us to constantly refill the jug on top.  We got a good deal on it but it needed to be installed.  I’m not handy with stuff that’s not on a computer, but I gave it the old ‘heave-ho’ anyway.

After spending two hours trying to decipher the instructions (which turned out to be for an entirely different water system) and look for pieces that simply didn’t seem to be included, I scheduled a plumber.  Of course he had no trouble installing it and made sure to tell me that I could have easily done it if I had just used the ‘blah blah’ to ‘blah blah blah’.

“Oh of course,” I said, “but I just had already lent my ‘blah blah blah’ to a neighbor friend, so you know…”

Also, at the same time, my wife got some Vitamin C thing we put in the shower to help neutralize the chlorine in the water.  I guess when chlorinated water comes out hot and steamy you’re basically gassing yourself in small increments.

Never one to wait, one day I find some disgusting yellow crud in our over-sized bathtub.  “What happened in here?!” I cry.  My wife confesses to mashing up a bunch of expensive vitamin C pills to add to the children’s bath, which did not drain with the water but coated the tub like a film of evil alien mucus.  Hoping to forestall any more pill mashing, I installed the adapter in our shower as quickly as I could after it arrived.

Vitamins are super expensive.

 

*Note that you need to add a remineralizer component to your reverse osmosis system or you’ll end up just drinking pure distilled water (like stage one above) and leach minerals out of your bones and whatnot.

 

NEXT WEEK, ON THE CRUNCHY DUNGEON:

With your left hand you hold onto the baby’s little feet. Any failure to do so will ultimately result in a pink-sock version of Riverdance in the dirtiest part of the diaper. With your right hand you attempt to position the dirty diaper. Too close to the baby and you will only be spreading the mess. Too far will fail to catch the inevitable ‘second wave’ that is usually induced through the exposure to cold air…