Arsenic in My Water?!

Water’s been my obsession for the past two months. It all started when I realized my jug of distilled water was empty.

“Why did you use all of the bottled water?” I asked my husband.

“Our water smells like a pool.”

“I thought it smelled bad, but that I was just imagining it.” I got sick about six months ago and my sense of smell is still distorted. Hence the distilled water, hich I use in my neti pot. I hope that between flushing my sinuses and sniffing pure essential oils a couple times a day that I might be able to wake up my sniffer.

Curious, I read my city’s water quality report and found it has higher-than-recommended amounts of arsenic and other nasty chemicals. This isn’t surprising. While they meet the current guidelines for water safety, those guidelines are decades old.

We’d already added water filters to our showerhead as I’d noticed my hair becoming brittle after moving here. It also fell out in small clumps, which was mildly alarming. However, this happens when I continuously shower somewhere with hard or poorly treated water (such as during our extended stay in the Phillippines), so I opted to get a filter prior to freaking out about the possibility of a severe illness. The showerhead fixed the problem and my skin irritation. But, back to the drinking water…

The last time I actually liked drinking regular tap water was as a kid, where our water was snow runoff that came down a river and was stored in a little water tower in the woods. One of the things I looked forward to as an adult when visiting my parents was the water, as silly as that sounds.

While living in Vietnam, part of our routine was getting a large water jug for drinking. Depending on where we lived, that might mean that we had it delivered on a motorbike or that we walked across the street to swap our empty one out for a full one at our neighbor’s house market. It wasn’t a big deal, but it did take some planning. For instance, we might had to plan to pour what was left in a small bowl or into our rice maker in the evening so we could get a full jug then instead of going without water until mid-day.

These past two months, I’ve been buying gallons of water at the store. It’s expensive and wasteful. We’ve researched under-the-sink filters, but those require replacement more often than we’d like and if we end up renting out this house, it’s one more thing we’d have to replace/take care of for the renters. A full reverse osmosis system is too expensive, but I needed some type of solution.

Enter the countertop water filter. I have been resistant to them for a while, for a myriad of reasons. The one that kept coming up on my list was the Berkey. But another, lesser-known brand also appeared: ProOne. My natural question was to ask what are the benefits of the ProOne water filter vs Berkey?

If the reviews are correct, countless people swear by Berkey. But, just as many seem to site the high cost, lack of third-party testing and the fact that it’s banned in a few states as reasons not to buy it.

I’ve chosen ProOne, which does have thirty party testing. It’s about half the price of the Berkey systems. There are also negative reviews, mostly that the stainless steel can rust. Fine, I hate cleaning fingerprints off of things anyway. So, I opted for the blue plastic one. It says it’s BPA free. Who knows? I know I won’t be getting perfect water. I just want something cleaner than what I have currently. Plus, I’ll be able to see the water level, instead of pulling off the top and looking at it like all the other brands and models. Really, at that price point, they can put in some type of sensor or looking glass.

I’ll let you know what I think.

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