Thursday, January 17, 2008

Water, Water Everywhere. Ever stop to think? About what you drink?

Perhaps this is just a typically Northern California thing to ponder but... for all the folks who insist that bottled water is really tap water and there's no difference, uh, yeah, right. People who drink lots of water can taste the difference between tap water, purified water and spring or mineral water.

Growing up in rural Napa county in the mid-late 70s, we didn't have a lot of water options. OK, we had options but they mostly didn't involve water coming from the ground. The drought had made the whole proposition of a viable well impossible and we couldn't even get PG&E to put up power lines, who would pipe water?

Instead, we had an antique fire truck which we would fill with water from a hose at a nearby lake. The water would go from the fire truck into a tank at the top of the hill and that water would be used for toilet flushing (at night) and showers.

Yes, we had a port-a-john.

For drinking water, we would take a big green 5 gallon container with a black lid and various smaller containers over to natural rock springs with big PVC pipes sticking out to fill with clear spring water so cold it hurt your hand to leave it under too long.

After the divorce, I lived with city water and remember making a LOT of Kool Aid to cover up the taste of the tap water. After moving to live with my maternal grandparents -- where they had a well with very high sulphur content water. My grandparents would make regular trips out to the "country" where there was a natural mineral spring and we drank nothing but mineral water at their house.

I spent 6 years in the suburbs of Cleveland - and I remember my stepdad struggling to get us to drink more water. Again, we doctored it with Kool Aid and I just always thought "I don't like water, it makes my stomach upset." I drank Gatorade all the way through undergrad in Northwest Ohio.

My next move was to New Orleans where EVERYONE has spring water (Kenwood or Abita) delivered - you just don't drink the tap water in New Orleans. I started drinking a lot of water.

In 2003, friends questioned my consumption of bottled water and preference for mineral water. Bottles are definitely wasteful and I have cut out bottled water from my life -- but I'm still in search of a good filter to get out the chlorine and other stuff.

So, any water snobs out there? Dish - I'm dying to hear about your favorite filter or source for H2O

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